Johor Umno Youth backs TMJ on Rome Statute accession

Johor Umno Youth chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah said the Pakatan Harapan government was hasty and unreasonable in signing the Rome Statute. — Picture courtesy of Mohd Hairi Mad Shah
Johor Umno Youth chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah said the Pakatan Harapan government was hasty and unreasonable in signing the Rome Statute. — Picture courtesy of Mohd Hairi Mad Shah

JOHOR BARU, March 12 — The Johor Umno Youth movement supports the state’s Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim who criticised the federal government's signing of the Rome Statute as a rash act that did not consider its legal implications, Malaysian sovereignty and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's immunity.

Johor Umno Youth chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah said the wing agreed the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s accession was done in haste with unreasonable judgment.

“The government has failed to explain to the public what Malaysia's main goals and objectives are in signing the agreement,” he said in a statement today.

In a tweet Sunday, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail said he was informed that the Malay Rulers were not consulted before the federal government signed the international court treaty.

Mohd Hairi said Article 27 of the Rome Statute indirectly touches on the immunity of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers as set out under Article 32 (1), Article 181 (2), Article 182 and Article 183 of the Federal Constitution.

“The Rome Statute Agreement will authorise the International Criminal Court (ICC) to discuss the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Supreme Commander or Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces in the event of cases in its jurisdiction.

“Indirectly this agreement is an external intervention against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers which threaten the sovereignty of the country’s monarchy,” claimed Mohd Hairi.

Article 27 of the Rome Statute, a treaty governing the ICC, provides that immunity or special regulations applicable to anyone in office under domestic and international laws will not hinder the ICC from enforcing its authority on such persons.

Mohd Hairi said Johor Umno Youth shared the opinion that that Malaysia has no urgent need to sign Rome Statute because under Article 12 (3), the agreement allows any non-member state to permit the ICC to exercise its jurisdiction over an offense that has occurred in their country.

For example, he said in the case of war crimes in Johor, the Malaysian government may allow the ICC to address the parties involved even if Malaysia does not sign Rome Statute.

“This itself brings the question of why the main countries such as China, the United States and Russia who are members of the United Nations’ Security Council are not members of Rome Statute.

“Even neighboring countries such as Thailand, Brunei and Singapore are also non-members, then why is Malaysia so eager to sign it?” asked Mohd Hairi.

Mohd Hairi said the Johor Umno Youth movement agreed that Tunku Ismail was entitled to question the government's action.

He said as a Bangsa Johor, the state’s Umno Youth movement is also disappointed with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement saying Tunku Ismail was speaking for himself on the Rome Statute as he is not an elected representative.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir dismissed the statement made by Tunku Ismail as being his personal opinion that Putrajaya did not refer the the Conference of Rulers before acceding to the Rome Statute.

“He’s not an elected representative. He’s only speaking for himself,” Dr Mahathir was reported to have said.

On Sunday, Wisma Putra assured that the monarchy’s status and position would not be threatened after Malaysia acceded to the Rome Statute.

Wisma Putra was responding to criticism by Tunku Ismail who claimed that the treaty would render the Malay rulers status irrelevant.

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