Two academics who advised Rulers against Rome Statute reject invite to forum

Student activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi speaks to reporters at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Student activist Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi speaks to reporters at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur April 16, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Two of the four academics who advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agung to reject the Rome Statute have declined the invitation to attend a forum organised by student activists on the treaty tomorrow.

The two are law lecturers Abdul Aziz from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Fareed Mohd Hassan of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), said a report in The Star.

The forum is organised by nine students who had leaked the executive summary of a briefing by the four academics to the Conference of Rulers, which then ostensibly led to Putrajaya’s decision to withdraw the ratification of the statute.

The other two academics, Universiti Teknologi Mara’s deputy vice-chancellor and dean of Faculty of Law Prof Datuk Rahmat Mohamad and USIM law lecturer Hisham Hanapi, have yet to respond to the invitation.

“The paper presented by the four academicians was biased, factually wrong and had purposely twisted sensitive issues to confuse the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” a student representative Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi was quoted in The Star.

“We invited the academicians as panellists to the forum but unfortunately, two of them have rejected the invite. We are still awaiting a response from Rahmat and Hisham Hanapi.

“I would urge them to attend the forum as panellists to have a healthy discussion, answer questions from the public and also defend themselves.”

Asheeq said the forum would be a platform for the four academics to shed light on what transpired behind the closed-door meet with the Conference of Rulers and for any confusion on the Rome Statute to be addressed.

“I urge them to be responsible and brave to defend their presentation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” said Asheeq.

“Accountability is very important for academicians. Don’t run and hide behind politicians who only want to confuse the rakyat on the issue.

“Come forward and argue as a professional and experienced academician.”

Attorney General Tommy Thomas has confirmed his attendance at the forum at Universiti Malaya. He and Rahmat were among the four people summoned by the Conference of Rulers to explain the treaty.

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