Rais Yatim condemns four academics who advised Rulers on Rome Statute calling them ‘musketeers without swords’

Founder and chairman of Yayasan Budi Tan Sri Rais Yatim delivers his opening speech during the Bar Council’s public forum at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall May 4, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Founder and chairman of Yayasan Budi Tan Sri Rais Yatim delivers his opening speech during the Bar Council’s public forum at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall May 4, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Veteran politician Tan Sri Rais Yatim today slammed the four academics who drew up the executive summary for the Conference of Rulers on the Rome Statute saying their recommendations on the treaty had resulted in the mess the country is currently encountering.

Rais, during a forum organised by the Bar Council of Malaysia discussing the statute, belittled the four professors, calling them ‘musketeers without swords’.

“If the four eminent professors didn’t go round the country and pleaded with their royal highnesses, to say that Rome is not to be with us, nothing will happen.

“Where are they now? The four musketeers without sword must be known.

“Without them, Rome could be with us. And I do accept Rome was not built in a day, but these four destroyed it within hours,” he said during his opening speech at the forum.

Rais was part of a four-man panel consisting of Attorney General Tommy Thomas, constitutional Expert Gurdial Singh Nijar, veteran politician Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, and G25 movement’s lawyer Surendra Ananth, and the forum was moderated by senior lawyer Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari.

The forum was held at the Tan Sri Jeffery Cheah Hall at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, where around 50 people were present.

The four academics who drew up the executive summary for the Conference of Rulers on the Rome Statute has recently been criticised and their constitutional views questioned, following the sudden decision by Pakatan Harapan to withdraw from the treaty.

The four are Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Law Faculty dean Prof Datuk Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University Malaysia constitutional expert Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Ab Aziz and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) law lecturers Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

Rais in his speech further attacked the four, questioning their motives within their arguments and questioning the legality of their approach.

“Why didn’t they appear at UM (last week)?” he said, referring to the four being absent from a similar forum held at Universiti Malaya last Saturday despite being invited.

“Why did they not come even here? Perhaps, they are at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman where they share their glamour and clank of atrocious behaviour of dethroning asunder,” he said.

Rais was suggesting the four were attending the ‘405’ pro-Islam rally that took place in the city centre today, organised by Islamist NGOs, claiming to defend the Malay community and sovereignty of Islam said to be sidelined by the current government.

Later on, Rais then took a softer stance and asserted he was willing to meet the quartet to divulge information on what exactly was presented to the Royals.

“We cannot just accept the news of the Royal Rulers not agreeing, expressing fear and so on.

“Even though some of their explanations were apparently made available on social media, but we are asking for these four intellectuals to reveal their arguments and the reasoning,” he said.

He said he would use his connections from the time as president of the Universiti Islam Malaysia (UIA), now known as International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), to work out a meeting with the four professors.

“I will contact and meet up with them, in a friendlier environment.

“We will approach them and I will see them so that they will understand the repercussions or the damage they have created.

“Then I would be able to explain (their arguments) in detail to the Attorney General’s Chambers, the AG himself and the Bar Council,” he said.

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