Rome Statute: Status of four academics to be discussed, deputy minister says

Deputy Education minister Teo Nie Ching speaks during a press conference at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif
Deputy Education minister Teo Nie Ching speaks during a press conference at Parliament, Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — The Education Ministry will discuss the status of the four academics whose executive summary to the Conference of Rulers on the Rome Statute led to the government’s decision to renounce its ratification last week.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching, however, said the ministry has not commenced with any formal or comprehensive discussion on the matter at present time.

“Allow us time to deliberate on the matter,” she was quoted saying in Parliament by Sinar Harian today.

Yesterday, nine student activists who leaked the paper had claimed that the executive summary was presented to the Conference of Rulers on April 2.

They are Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi, Ainina Sofia Adnan Nurhuda Ramli, Suhail Wan Azahar, Ahmad Taqiyuddin Shahriman, Wong Yan Ke, Chong Kar Yan, Nik Azura Nik Nasron and Siti Nurizzah Mohd Tazali.

In the document, the four academics warned the Malay rulers that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can be prosecuted by the ICC as the supreme commander of the country’s armed forces.

The paper was purportedly prepared by Universiti Teknologi Mara’s deputy vice-chancellor and dean of Faculty of Law Prof Datuk Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University of Malaysia’s law lecturer Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Ab Aziz, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia’s law lecturers Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government was forced to bow to political pressure from opponents who spread unnecessary fear and confusion.

He also said critics of the Rome Statute wanted to trigger a row between the country’s monarchy and the new government.

The government’s decision to withdraw also prompted the launch of an online petition to urge Putrajaya to reconsider its decision.