APRIL 8 — The International Criminal Court (ICC), another international instrument hoped to be the final defensive line for the victims of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression, was withdrawn from the accession of ratification by the very government who was deemed as the torchbearers of democratic reforms.
We the undersigned civil society organisations are appalled with the U-turns of the Pakatan Harapan-led (PH) government who repetitively fail to maintain a strong position to the questions of human rights and humanity, easily giving in to the voices of “vested interests”.
The treaty-based international criminal court was established in 2002, and solely aims to end impunity against perpetrators of the most serious crimes like genocides and crimes against humanity. It is unbelievable and morally despicable that any individual or groups would oppose and put a stop to this noble endeavour.
The withdrawal of Malaysia, a country that has strongly stood in solidarity with the sufferings of minorities in countries like Myanmar, Bosnia and Palestine from the ICC, rings hollow to Malaysia’s condemnation towards the atrocities against the Rohingyas as we do not have a moral positioning and international instruments to even suggest that a crime against humanity has occurred.
Despite having the government’s machinery at its disposal, the PH government decided to surrender the aspirations of a New Malaysia to provocations spelled out by immature parties instead of disseminating the correct narrative to the people.
This is a lesson the Malaysian government should have quickly grasped soon after the racially-stirred up ICERD commotion. There should not be another retraction of ratifications, laws and policies due to prejudicial religious and racial politics.
It is important to note that the treaty does not impact the state rulers as Their Majesties’ roles and functions are very different in the army, the police or the execution of foreign policy. In the context of Malaysia, the Yang Di-pertuan Agong is the head of state but not the head of government; therefore, His Majesty is the formal but not the functional head of state. Our system of constitutional monarchy is such that His Majesty is not operationally responsible for any military decisions. Hence any allegations that the signing of such treaties would impede the powers of the monarch is false. Furthermore, Islam or the Malay position would not be threatened in the signing and ratification of this treaty.
We would like to condemn any attempts made by any parties to undemocratically unseat the democratically elected government and prime minister. The government today is moving Malaysia and its peoples towards the path of a maturing democracy, which must be given justice to its genuine intentions of reform.
Statement endorsed by:
1. Agora Society
3. Beyond Borders
4. Childline Malaysia
5. Eliminating Deaths n Abuse in Custody Together (EDICT)
6. Foreign Spouses Support Group
8. Global BERSIH
9. Health Equity Initiatives
10. Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM)
12. Monsoons Malaysia
14. North South Initiatives
15. Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)
16. Pusat KOMAS
17. Sahabat Rakyat
18. Save Rivers
19. Sisters in Islam
20. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
22. The Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
* Statement issued by Pusat KOMAS.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.