Minister: Malaysia to ratify Rome Statute of International Criminal Court soon

Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran says Malaysia lost a golden opportunity by not having joined the International Criminal Court. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran says Malaysia lost a golden opportunity by not having joined the International Criminal Court. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 ― Malaysia could have referred the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014 to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it had ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC, said M. Kulasegaran, chairman of the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) Malaysia.

Malaysia lost a golden opportunity by not having joined the ICC, he said when addressing the 10th Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians of the ICC and the Rule of Law (CAP-ICC) and the 40th Annual Forum of PGA in Kyiv, Ukraine, today.

The text of his speech was released here.

Kulasegaran, who is the Human Resource Minister, said Malaysia is expected to ratify the ICC statute soon.

The proposal on the matter will be submitted to the Cabinet next week and “we should be ratifying the ICC (statute) soon”, he said.

Flight MH17 carrying 298 passengers and crew was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All the people on board, many of whom were citizens of the Netherlands, died in the crash.

“I once wrote about the tragic downing of MH17 (July 2014). I said, ‘Justice for victims of crimes of this magnitude must be secured in a robust national and internationally coordinated manner. National courts complemented by the ICC is the best way forward for this,” Kulasegaran said.

He said he noted that the journey for Malaysia to accede to the ICC began in 2004 but the hassle of convincing the previous government had given them hurdles and excuses why it could not be done.

He also said that only two out of the 10 Asean countries have ratified the ICC.

“On the bigger picture, only 25 per cent of the countries in Asia have ratified the Rome Statute. Thus, we have a big job to get the non-state parties to join the ICC. I am confident Asian leaders will be persuaded to acknowledge the role of ICC and ratification by many non-parties should take place.

“I live with this dream that one day all world nations will ratify the ICC and, by doing so, the rule of law will be observed.

“We have an obligation to our future generations to do the right thing and ratify the ICC as its court will serve as a beacon of hope for victims of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes and serve as a deterrent to these crimes,” he said. ― Bernama