Withdrawing from Rome Statute made to avoid parties taking advantage: Saifuddin

18 Apr 2019 / 16:57 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) early this month was made to prevent certain parties from taking advantage of the confusion that arose regarding the issue.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said even though the cabinet contended that the statute is important in achieving Malaysia’s idealism of playing a more active role in the international sphere, the utmost value is placed on maintaining the security and common good of the citizens.

“The cabinet made the decision not to proceed with the ratification due to the possibility of deep state or undemocratic agents taking advantage of this, to avoid bigger problems.

“When confusion and emotions are played at, we fear that there might be efforts to bring down the government and especially the Prime Minister,” he said in the ‘Ruang Bicara’ programme on Bernama News Channel (BNC), which was aired on Wednesday.

On April 5, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced Malaysia’s decision to back out of the statute’s ratification following the confusion that arose politically as well as among members of society.

Malaysia signed the Rome Statute on March 4 and deposited it with the secretary general of the United Nations on the same day, but can withdraw before June this year.

Bernama understands that Malaysia is waiting for the response from ICC as no country has ever withdrawn before the completion of the ratification process.

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based international criminal court, aimed at ending impunity of perpetrators of the most serious crimes, namely genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression. — Bernama

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