NGOs thank Dr M for withdrawing from Rome Statute

PUTRAJAYA: Several non-governmental organisations have come out to express their gratitude to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over Malaysia's withdrawal from the Rome Statute.

Abdul Rani Kulup, the president of Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM), said Malaysia was a peaceful country and did not need to accede to the statute.

"Our country has its own dignity. We have our Federal Constitution.

"Why do we need the Statute of Rome?

"We are a multiracial country and have lived in peace and harmony with each other for a long time. Let's maintain this peace.

"But if someone breaks the law, arrest them!" said Abdul Rani to reporters, after submitting a memorandum of thanks to the Prime Minister.

About 14 NGOs signed the memorandum, which was received by Dr Mahathir's political secretary Abu Bakar Yahya, who said he hoped the show of support was "genuine".

"I would like to say thank you for the support towards the Prime Minister's decision, and I hope this support is genuine.

"The Prime Minister has said that it is fine not to sign the Rome Statute. But what we must do is to uphold the rule of law.

"So if anyone breaks the law, action must be taken against them. Hopefully, when the government takes action to uphold the law, the government will be supported," said Abu Bakar.

On April 5, Dr Mahathir announced Malaysia's withdrawal from the Rome Statute, exactly a month after acceding to the treaty.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first permanent, treaty-based international court that prosecutes perpetrators who commit genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression.

Dr Mahathir said the Cabinet made the decision not to ratify the Rome Statute not because it disagreed with the treaty, but because it felt the issue had been manipulated by political opponents.


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