Student activists claim summary paper convinced Conference of Rulers to reject Rome Statute


  • Nation
  • Monday, 8 Apr 2019

PETALING JAYA: Student activists have claimed that a summary paper prepared by a group of academics was used to convince the Conference of Rulers to reject the Rome Statute.

Student activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi uploaded a 10-page executive summary that was apparently presented to the Conference of Rulers on April 2.

The executive summary was allegedly presented by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) law professor Prof Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) law professor Assoc Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia law lecturers Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

The students claim that the arguments in the summary were one-sided and only discussed why the council should reject the Rome Statute.

They also pointed out that the executive summary was similar to the documents shared by the Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim on his Facebook page on Friday (April 5).

“The question that arises is why was the consultation done in private, without the public knowing, as the Rome Statute is meant to protect the people?” the students said.

“We are exposing this to create a forum on various levels, including academicians.

“Academicians should provide their views so that the Conference of Rulers and the public are not confused by this group which convinced the council to reject the Rome Statute.

“As ethical academicians, they should have provided both the pros and cons of the Rome Statute for fair consideration of the Conference of Rulers,” they said in a statement.

The statement was signed by a group of Malaysians: Asheeq Ali, Ainina Sofia Adnan, Nurhuda Ramli, Suhail Wan Azahar, Ahmad Taqiyuddin Shahriman, Wong Yan Ke, Chong Kar Yan, Nik Azura Nik Nasron, and Siti Nurizzah Mohd Tazali.

The group claimed that the leaked papers created doubt by citing war crime tribunals against two rulers – Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Emperor Hirohito of Japan – who were involved in World War I and World War II, respectively.

These war crime tribunals preceded the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is governed by the Rome Statute.

“Do these academicians know their history? Both emperors were involved in world wars. There is no need to compare our rulers to these two emperors, as our rulers clearly uphold the sovereignty of the law,” the group added.

The leaked paper also claimed that Myanmar, which was not a party to the Rome Statute, cannot be brought to the ICC despite accusations of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya community.

However, the student activists said this was not true.

“On Sept 19, 2018, the ICC started initial investigations on Myanmar (over the alleged deportation of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh) based on the report made by the Bangladeshi government.

“We believe that there should be a healthy debate at every level as it involves the rakyat. The points should be debated to avoid confusion,” they said.

The group also started a petition in support of the Rome Statute as protection for the rakyat, adding that the sovereignty of the rulers would not be compromised.

When contacted by The Star, activist Asheeq Ali said that he had obtained the executive summary from a reliable source.

“The Conference of Rulers did meet on that date and this was presented to them ... we stick by this,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the academicians mentioned in the article kept mum when asked on the authenticity of the report.

“You should ask the person who uploaded it,” the academician said.