MARCH 5 — The Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations in the UPR Process (Macsa), a coalition of 52 civil society organisations, welcomes the accession to the Rome Statute by Malaysia, which shows the continued commitment of all segments of our multi-ethnic society to promote justice and rule of law without fear nor favour in the fight against callous impunity, in particular for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression.
We congratulate the substantial efforts of civil society organisations, parliamentarians, the Government and the media, whose joint commitment to this end was crucial to move forward the entire process that led today to the achievement of this result.
Malaysia’s accession to the Rome Statute, which brings the total tally to three out of 10 the number of States in Asean, is an important step towards universality of the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction in the region and ensures a more active role of States of this locality in the work of the Court and within its Assembly of State Parties.
Already we have been witnessing a mass exodus of sorts from other States within this region, in particular ethnic Rohingya from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, due to genocidal policies being promoted by its regime, helped along by non-other than the so called champion of human rights and liberal democracy that is Aung San Suu Kyi.
We hope the example of Malaysia will encourage other South-east Asian nations to ratify the founding treaty of the ICC, strengthening their commitment to justice and the rule of law and ensuring that the region as a whole will not be a safe place for alleged war criminals.
To cooperate fully with the court and fulfil its obligation under the principle of complementarity, Malaysia needs to adopt appropriate procedures and implementing legislation. Another crucial next step is for Malaysia to ratify the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ICC and we urge this new ICC State Party to move forward in this direction with all possible speed.
Those who fear for national sovereignty need not worry for the provisions of the Rome Statute are clear in that the court shall only have jurisdiction to prosecute and convict when national courts are unwilling or unable to do so. With this iron clad guarantee, such fears may be put to rest.
Instead, let us take further steps towards fortifying the commitment of Malaysia to the victims of crimes under international law, showing the crucial role that our federation plays in upholding accountability and justice as an integral part of peace.
* Media Statement by Azril Mohd Amin, chief executive of Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy and chairperson, Macsa; and Associate Prof. Dr Rafidah Hanim Mokhtar, president of International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education and co-chairperson, Macsa.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.