Anwar: Let the four answer to allegations on Rome Statute

KUALA LUMPUR: Let the four academics who advised the Conference of Rulers and convinced them to reject the Rome Statute answer to any allegations, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Let our academics answer, okay?” said the Port Dickson MP and PM-in-waiting, in the wake of the Malaysian government’s decision not to ratify the international treaty that seeks to prosecute those guilty of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression.

The four academics are Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) law professor Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University Malaysia’s (IIUM) Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia law lecturers Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

They have kept mum, after a group of student activists leaked their 10-page executive summary that was presented to the Conference of Rulers on April 2.

However, the four academics are expected to break their silence at the “Forum Wacana Ilmu Statute Rom” moderated by Datuk Dr Zainal Kling at UITM at 2.30pm on April 30.

Anwar described the upcoming forum as a “healthy platform” to discuss the issue.

“It’s okay, let them discuss. They have a healthy forum with a question-and-answer (session),” he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby on Tuesday (April 9).

The student activists claimed that the arguments in the summary were one-sided and only discussed why the Conference of Rulers should reject the Rome Statute governing the International Criminal Court.

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, which is what constitutional experts have also argued.

The government had been forced to withdraw from the Rome Statute following “confusion created by those with political interests”, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last Friday (April 5).

Civil society groups have also condemned those who opposed the ratification of the Rome Statute, which looks at serious crimes committed by individuals whom their governments are unwilling or unable to prosecute.