Two of four academicians who advised Rulers turn down invites to forum on Rome Statute

PETALING JAYA: Two of the four academics who purportedly advised the Rulers to reject the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have turned down an offer to attend a forum on the matter in Universiti Malaya on Saturday (April 27).

The two were Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia law lecturer Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan.

The forum is organised by a group of student activists who leaked a 10-page executive summary prepared by the four academics, claiming that the arguments in their summary were one-sided and only discussed why the Conference of Rulers should reject the Rome Statute.

The group's representative Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi said the other two academics, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia law lecturer Hisham Hanapi and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) law professor Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad have not responded to the invite.

"The paper presented by the four academicians was biased, factually wrong and had purposely twisted sensitive issues to confuse the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"We invited the academicians as panellists to the forum but unfortunately, two of them have rejected the invite. We are still awaiting a response from Dr Rahmat and Hisham Hanapi.

"I would urge them to attend the forum as panellists to have a healthy discussion, answer questions from the public and also defend themselves," said Asheeq in a statement.

He added that the four academicians have not responded since the students' group leaked the executive summary on the Rome Statute.

"I urge them to be responsible and brave to defend their presentation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"Accountability is very important for academicians. Don't run and hide behind politicians who only want to confuse the rakyat on the issue.

"Come forward and argue as a professional and experienced academician," said Asheeq.

The forum will be held at the Universiti Malaya law faculty and will feature the Attorney General Tommy Thomas and constitutional expert Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, among others as panellists.

Others include Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin and lawyer Lim Wei Jiet.

It intends to discuss and have a healthy debate on the issues surrounding the Rome Statute, which caused confusion, causing the government to change its mind from ratifying it.

On April 5, Putrajaya said it would withdraw from ratifying the international treaty that covers serious crimes and crimes against humanity.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Cabinet had decided not to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which governs the prosecution of perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.


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