BN govt prioritised international relations, Ambiga tells Opposition MPs

Ambiga pointed out that under BN, Malaysia contributed to UN peacekeeping and sat on the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council, among others. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Ambiga pointed out that under BN, Malaysia contributed to UN peacekeeping and sat on the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council, among others. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — The previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government was committed to international relations, lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan told BN MPs now opposing Malaysia’s accession of the Rome Statute.

Ambiga pointed out that under BN, Malaysia contributed to United Nations (UN) peacekeeping and sat on the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council, among others.

“Do you want to be a part of the international community or not? And PLEASE educate yourself about the ICC before you sound idiotic,” Ambiga tweeted today in response to a news report that quoted Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as saying that the Opposition may file an emergency motion in Parliament to rescind Malaysia’s accession of the Rome Statute.

The ICC refers to the International Criminal Court that exercises jurisdiction over state parties to the Rome Statute over genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crime of aggression. A total of 123 countries, including Malaysia, are party to the ICC so far.

On March 26, some Opposition lawmakers were dissatisfied with Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah’s assertion that Malaysia need not be anxious about the Rome Statute, saying no Malaysian leader would commit any of the four international crimes.

BN MPs have questioned if acceding to the Rome Statute would affect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s immunity, as the ICC rejects immunity for heads of state or government.

The ICC is a “court of last resort” as the ICC takes action when a government refuses or is unable to prosecute an individual on any of those four crimes.