JOHOR BARU, March 22 — A coalition of civil groups today delivered a memorandum to Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar to protest against Putrajaya’s decision to accede the Rome Statute
The memorandum was personally handed over to the Sultan at Istana Pasir Pelangi after the Friday prayers today.
More than 20 organisations, comprising groups such as Pertubuhan Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Johor, Dewan Muda Johor, Pertubuhan Generasi Muda Melayu Malaysia and Kulai Youth Council took part in a brief gathering to show their support.
In a post on his Facebook page, Sultan Ibrahim stated that he was pleased to receive the memorandum from the three representatives who were allowed to see him.
“Among the issues raised was the protest against the ratification of Malaysia as a member of the Rome Statute.
“The provisions of the statute are considered a threat to the position of the Malay Rulers, in particular, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in contravention of the provisions under the Federal Constitution,” read the post.
The post also said the memorandum defends the freedom of the Johor monarchy to speak up on behalf of its subjects.
Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has decreed him to dispel any misinformation regarding the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute, including the claim that the King will be exposed to the prosecution.
Saifuddin stressed that the Agong cannot be held responsible towards the four core international crimes covered by the statute: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.
Earlier today, more than 100 people gathered in support of the protest that was held after Friday prayers.
Meanwhile, the Kulai Youth Council chairman Nor Azman Hasbullah said among the main points of the memorandum was to appeal to Sultan Ibrahim to propose the Conference of Rulers to reject international human rights conventions, alleging they contravene the Federal Constitution.
“At the same time, we appeal to Sultan Ibrahim to be the voice for the people of Johor in ensuring that the government devises an economic formula to reduce the cost of living of the people.
“At the same time we urge the government to speed up the development allocation for Johor, and request the state government to bow down to any party for the sake of Johor’s development,” he said.
Recently, Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has questioned Putrajaya’s ratification of the Rome Statute, claiming it would affect the Agong and accused the government of bypassing the Conference of Rulers.
In response, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dismissed the statement made by Tunku Ismail as being his personal opinion, saying the prince is not an elected representative.
Established in 2002, the ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court, with the objective to end impunity against the perpetrators of the four most serious crimes of concern to the international community.