KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar has thanked Putrajaya today after the latter was forced to withdraw the ratification of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court (ICC) following political pressure.
In a statement, the Sultan of Johor also expressed hope that the government will always put public welfare first ahead of political expediency.
“I say thank you to the Malaysian government for hearing the voice of the people to cancel the Rome Statute signed in March,” the ruler said on his Facebook page.
“I also say thank you for respecting and accepting the views of the Conference of Rulers.”
The sultan also said he will ensure that the country’s sovereignty and the harmony among the public be protected.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government was forced to bow out due to political pressure from opponents who spread unnecessary fear and confusion in public.
He also said critics of the Rome Statute wanted to trigger a row between the country’s monarchy and the new government, accusing them of engaging in a political move “to get the rulers to back them up”.
This comes as Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah explained that the Cabinet’s reversal was a “political” move done for fear of a coup d’etat attempt spurred on by the “deep state” — which he described as an apparatus that is not democratically elected.
Sultan Ibrahim’s crown prince Tunku Ismail was a frequent critic of the Statute and had previously accused Putrajaya of allegedly contravening the Constitution by ratifying it without the consent of the Conference of Rulers ― although the Constitution states otherwise.
Tunku Ismail had tweeted “Long live the King” following Putrajaya’s announcement on Friday, only to delete it afterwards.
Sultan Ibrahim himself had accused Putrajaya of the same thing in his birthday address last month, while also harshly labelling those who are allegedly disputing the authorities of state rulers and governments when it comes to Islam, water, forestry, and land as “traitors.”
Over 100 countries are party to the ICC, that probes genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression that are committed either in the territory of a state party or by a citizen of a state party.