PETALING JAYA, May 2 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik should consider removing four academics who advised the Conference of Rulers on the Rome Statute that resulted in the government’s U-turn on ratification, retired senior government official Tan Sri Alwi Jantan suggested today.
The former director-general of the Public Services Department who is now a member of vocal governance watchdog G25 claimed the four had violated their public service code of conduct in their summary paper and advised the Rulers to reject the Rome Statute, which makes their positions at the public universities untenable.
He named the four as International Islamic University of Malaysia law lecturer Associate Prof Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz, Universiti Teknologi MARA deputy vice-chancellor and dean of Faculty of Law Prof Datuk Rahmat Mohamad, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia law lecturers Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.
“First, unless they had received prior permission from their respective vice chancellors, they went over the heads in offering advice to the Conference of Rulers.
“Second, they went against government policy which had already agreed to accede to the Rome Statute and third, they gave erroneous advice against acceding to the Rome Statute,” Alwi wrote in an open letter to Maszlee that was sent to the media.
The government pensioner said that being employed by public institutions, the four are public servants and subject to the code of conduct for all civil service staff.
He contended that all four were guilty on all three counts.
“Therefore, I am of the opinion that their positions in their respective universities are no longer tenable,” said Alwi.
The 84-year-old who has vast experience as a public administrator also noted that the four were invited to a public forum in Universiti Malaya (UM) last Saturday to defend their views, but they all either declined or did not respond.
The UM forum was organised by nine students who had leaked the alleged executive summary of a briefing by four academics to the Conference of Rulers, which then ostensibly led to Putrajaya’s withdrawal.
The controversial four academics had claimed Malaysia’s ratification could lead the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as supreme commander of the armed forces to be persecuted for war crimes, which would affect the Malay royal institution, despite arguments otherwise, most notably from the Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
Police have launched a sedition investigation on the UM forum that also featured Thomas, UM constitutional law expert Emeritus Professor Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi and veteran PKR politician Syed Hussin Ali, following complaints that remarks were made then against the monarchy.
Alwi, now a member of the G25 group of mainly retired civil servants and academics, had served the government for 32 years, beginning as an officer in the Federal Establishment Office in 1958 until his retirement in 1990 as Public Services Department director-general.