Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Putrajaya maintains refusal to ratify Rome Statute

Deputy Foreign Minister Kamarudin Jaffar says this is in line with the sentiments of the majority.

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The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will maintain the decision of the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration to withdraw from ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Deputy Foreign Minister Kamarudin Jaffar said Malaysia acceded to the Rome Statute on March 4, 2019 before retracting its position on April 5.

He said the foreign ministry submitted Malaysia’s letter of participation to the United Nations (UN) secretary-general as the depository holder for the treaty on April 29.

“On May 15, 2019, the UN confirmed Malaysia’s participation in the Rome Statute effective April 29, 2019, which was the date of Wisma Putra’s letter of retraction.

“Malaysia was then officially removed from the list of signatory countries,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

“Until today, Malaysia maintains this decision made by the PH government to retract its participation in the Rome Statute.”

He was responding to Maria Chin Abdullah (PKR-Petaling Jaya) who asked the foreign minister to state the government’s position on the Rome Statute and whether the country would agree to become a member of the ICC.

On April 6 last year, the Cabinet decided to withdraw from the ICC, citing confusion among the people and attempts by certain quarters to pit the royal institution against the government.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister at the time, was reported as saying that the country’s decision to accede to the statute had been made into a political issue to paint the government in a negative light.

Kamarudin said the PN government had no intention of joining the ICC, in line with the sentiments of the majority.

“We will ensure that our actions are guided by what the majority want,” he added.

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