APRIL 7 — The statement by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah that Malaysia’s withdrawal from ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was a political move done for the fear of a coup d’etat spurred on by the powers behind the scenes, is a serious national security allegation.
It is vital that the government confronts this challenge, or it will continue to be held hostage by the deep state who would continue to hold the government ransom, especially on its political, institutional and economic reforms as promised to the electorate, and its credibility as a moral voice in global affairs.
In such a context it is vital to expose who the deep state actors are through a white paper in Parliament. Those who are plotting to destabilise the democratically-elected government through racial and religious bigotry should be arrested and charged in the court of law.
In reality the current global world where human rights have progress there is no such thing as absolute immunity. True national sovereignty is based moral imperative that serves the common good and not about the privileges of the few. Unless this is understood we are far behind on what constitutes a civilised society.
Malaysia, wanting to exit from the Rome Statute after it has signed it, is a clear indication that it finds itself in a hypocritical position where political considerations have subdued moral reasoning in domestic and as well as in the international affairs.
The message that it presents to world is, while it speaks about universal justice for Palestinians and Rohingyas, it does not want Universal justice for itself since it is a Malay-Muslim nation with some privileges.
While it condemns the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, its condemnation is basically due to the fact that it is a Malay-Muslim majority country rather than the moral voice that condemns shootings or bombings whether it is in mosques, churches or temples. This is done due to political reasons rather than a moral voice that goes beyond sectarian justice.
In fact, by opting out of the Rome Statute, Malaysia has basically put the future of this country at the hands of possible future war criminals who could act with impunity in a multi-ethnic and religious society.
Therefore, it is time that the Pakatan Harapan government exposes this deep state actors through lawful actions or the government will continue to be held hostage by this group of people who would continue to damage the credibility of the government in the domestic and international affairs.
* Ronald Benjamin is Executive Secretary of the Association for Community and Dialogue.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.