Ministry denies academics on its radar over Rome Statute summary

09 Apr 2019 / 20:41 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry today denied that it will discuss the status of the four academics who wrote an executive summary on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said her explanation instead referred to the views raised by a group of students and student activists.

“Firstly, I wish to stress that I never said their positions as academics will be discussed.

“Secondly, when questioned in Parliament yesterday, my answer was that ‘no discussions at the Education Ministry level so far’,“ she said in a statement today.

She was commenting on today’s media reports, which quoted her as saying yesterday that the position of the four academics would be discussed by the ministry following their views on the Rome Statute.

At the same time, Teo requested that the ministry be given time to review or discuss the matter thoroughly.

“I hope this explanation will help alleviate the misunderstanding that has cropped up,“ she said.

On Sunday, the head of the Coalition for Academic Freedom-Institute of Higher Learning (GPA-IPT), Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi leaked the executive summary on the Rome Statute, which was presented to the Conference of Rulers on April 2.

Asheeq Ali and eight of his friends questioned why the study was conducted in secret and also claimed that the arguments in the summary were one-sided and only discussed as to why the Conference of Malay Rulers should reject the Rome Statute.

The summary was prepared by the Dean of the Law Faculty of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Prof Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Federal Constitution expert Assoc Prof Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz and two Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) law lecturers, Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

Malaysia had ratified the Rome Statute earlier this year but withdrew from it this month as allowed for within a one year period because of objections from numerous quarters including the Conference of Rulers. — Bernama

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