Academics who advised rulers on Rome Statute should explain themselves: Patriot

22 Apr 2019 / 15:00 H.

SUBANG JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) wants the four academics who advised the rulers to reject the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to explain themselves.

Patriot committee member Lt-Kol (Rtd) Ahmad Ghazali Abu Hassan also raised questions about the sincerity of these scholars and he wants to know if their research was guided by the “untainted principle of academic integrity”.

“Were there no ulterior motives apart from providing the best advice for Their Majesties to consider,” he asked.

He was commenting on criticisms levelled at the four academics over an executive summary they had written on the Rome Statute. The 10-page summary, allegedly advising the rulers to reject the statute, was leaked by student activists on April 7.

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

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad subsequently announced that Malaysia would not ratify the statute.

Ahmad Ghazali told a press conference today that many viewed the content and quality of the summary submitted to the rulers to be flawed and skewed and “they raised a lot of questions, both in terms of their motives and their credibility as academics”.

“If they believe the content of their summary is the truth and the best outcome of their research, they should come forward and explain their findings to the public,” he added.

Otherwise, he added, they should accept the assertion that their action was “politically motivated and maliciously intended”.

Ahmad Ghazali said the summary had led to uneasiness among the people, thus forcing the government to withdraw from the agreement for fear of a purported coup d’etat.

He said Patriot viewed this as an act to willfully and maliciously deceive the rulers especially knowing that it carried the “dangerous implication of possible unrest”, making it an act of treason.

The four have been invited to attend a forum on the Rome Statute on Saturday (April 27) but two declined and the other two did not respond to the invitation. The forum is organised by a group of civil society and academics groups.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and Universiti Malaya law professor and constitutional law expert Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi are expected to attend.

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