Speaker rejects opposition’s motion to clarify Putrajaya’s decision on Rome Statute

Opposition leader and Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, although in agreement with the government’s decision to refuse the signing of the Rome Statute, wanted clarification on the matter. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Opposition leader and Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, although in agreement with the government’s decision to refuse the signing of the Rome Statute, wanted clarification on the matter. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof today rejected the opposition’s motion for the government to explain its position on the Rome Statute.

Opposition leader and Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, although in agreement with the government’s decision to refuse the signing of the Rome Statute, wanted clarification on the matter.

He tabled the motion after Question Time ended this morning.

“This is a very important issue that has been discussed by many people. Even in Parliament we have seriously discussed this issue and we have received all sorts of answers from the Ministry.

“So I propose the government announce its decision to withdraw from the Statute in parliament, maybe through a ministerial statement, so it can be put on record,” said Ismail.

He also elaborated that the announcement would clarify the matter that has sparked much conflicting speculations and opinions among the people.

“This matter has already been resolved. So there’s nothing under Standing Order 18 that needs to be sped up.

“That’s why I’m rejecting the motion,” said the Speaker in reply.

Last week, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government still strongly believed that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was a positive international treaty that should be ratified, but feared its critics would trigger a row between the monarchy and the new government.

Over the weekend, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah also explained that the Cabinet’s reversal of its ratification of the Rome Statute was a “political” move done for fear of a coup d’etat attempt spurred on by powers behind the scene.

He pointed out that history has shown that a coup d’etat is a common reaction to democratic advancement and the public rising up following an election, and it is usually instigated by the “deep state.” 

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