G25’s Farida: Anifah and ex-AG defied previous Cabinet on Rome Statute accession

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 02 May 2019

PETALING JAYA: Former Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman defied the Cabinet when he did not sign the Rome Statute in 2011, says G25 spokesperson Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin.

Noor Farida, who headed the Legal Department of the Foreign Ministry at that time, said the proposal to accede to the Rome Statute received the support of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Cabinet in 2011, despite objections from then Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC).

“Anifah admitted that the Cabinet agreed to accede to the Rome Statute in March 2011 despite the objection of then Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

“By not signing the instrument of accession which had been prepared for his signature, he defied the Cabinet,” she alleged, adding that Najib and Anifah were now misleading the public on the issue.

Quoting Anifah, she said in 2015, the Cabinet had asked the AG to prepare the necessary papers to accede to the Rome Statute, but the AG did not do so.

“So in 2015, it was the AG who defied the Cabinet,” she said.

Noor Farida said this is response to Anifa's statement that his decision not to sign the instrument of accession to the Rome Statute in March 2011 was based on the advice of the AGC.

“Cabinet revisited the issue (of accession to the Rome Statute) in 2015 and it was decided for Malaysia to accede to the Rome Statute and for the AGC to prepare the necessary papers that could then be tabled during the Cabinet meeting towards this end,” Anifah said in a statement Thursday (May 2).

“However, the AGC never prepared the Cabinet papers,” he added.

Anifah said Cabinet waited for the AGC to submit the Cabinet papers as there was a number of grey areas that had to be dealt with.

“When signing any statute or anything on behalf of the country, I have always been very careful as any wrong move may cause negative repercussions domestically or internationally,” he said.

On Sunday (April 28), panellists at a forum on Rome Statute revealed that the process to ratify the Rome Statute began in 1998, under Najib’s tenure as prime minister, and said the current Pakatan Harapan government was merely completing the process by ratifying it.

At the forum, Noor Farida explained that despite the then AGC's objection to the accession, her department had managed to persuade the Cabinet to agree to ratify it in 2011.

“Cabinet overruled the AGC’s objection in 2011 and decided to ratify the Rome Statute then,” Noor Farida had said at the forum.

For reasons best known to himself, the Foreign Minister at that time did not want to sign it, she said.

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