KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim of an attempt to pit the rulers against him over the Rome Statute was in reference to a particular royal personality.
Malaysiakini reported Anwar as saying Dr Mahathir was not referring to any political parties.
“The prime minister was making reference to a specific attempt by a particular personality in a royal family or household that brought it (Rome Statute) up.
“There was no reference to any party,” Anwar told reporters at a press conference in Rantau today after he was asked if Mahathir’s claim may have been in reference to someone within Pakatan Harapan.
Anwar said he was sure as he had spoken to Dr Mahathir about the matter during his meeting with the prime minister yesterday.
“It was clear to me because when I had discussions with him he did elaborate,” he said.
Anwar said Mahathir made a wide decision to withdraw from the statute to avoid problems.
He said while the Rome Statute is good for reforms, transparency, and rule of law, the government must also accept that some concerns must be assuaged.
He added that negative interpretations by the opposition must be countered.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir had announced that Malaysia was withdrawing from the Rome Statute following the confusion arising politically and within the society on it, stressing that the decision was not because the Statute was harmful to the country.
He said Malaysia, which acceded to the Rome Statute on March 4, could withdraw from it before June this year.
The decision to withdraw from the Statute was made collectively at a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Dr Mahathir said.
He added that the decision was taken because certain people, who had their own vested interests, had misled people into thinking that Malaysia would lose its sovereignty and that the position of the Malays and the institution of the Malay royalty would be affected because the country acceded to the statute.
However, he warned that even though Malaysia was withdrawing from the statute, “prince or pauper” would face the consequences if they broke the law.