Thursday, June 16, 2011

Media Statement by M Kula Segaran at Parliament House, Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bashir must respect the international law and face the charges against him at the ICC.

On Tuesday June 14, 2001; I submitted a notice of urgent motion to ask Parliament to discuss the government’s invitation to Al-Bashir of Sudan and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to the Langkawi International Dialogue. I further requested that the invitation to both individual heads of state be cancelled.

Over 300 participants are expected to attend this meet which is scheduled to take place at PutraJaya.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri agreed with me that Bashir should be disallowed to come to Malaysia and he promised to raise the invitation issue at the Cabinet meets on Friday.

My urgent motion is scheduled to be heard today at 11.30am. I just received a notice from the Speaker informing me that my motion has been disallowed in chambers.

The reasons given are:-

1) to recognize the sovereignty of a country and,

2) to continue to have good diplomatic relations with foreign countries

Consequently, my motion has been disallowed under18 ( 7) ( C) of Standing Orders (S0) of Parliament) which reads- Speaker can reject a motion ... If any motion contravenes any of the provisions of the SO

With the highest respect to the Speaker, his reasons to disallow this urgent motion is most regrettable.

If he has allowed the motion,

1. MPs could obtain a detailed explanation as to why in the first place an invitation was made to Bashirr when there is a warrant of arrest issued by International Criminal Court (ICC)

2. MPs will have an opportunity to show displeasure to world leaders who abuse their own citizens and have scant respect to rule of law

3. the parliamentary debate will serve as an opportunity to enhance our country’s image abroad as we will be seen as not condoning wrong doings of any individuals let alone head of states. Further we are not "indifferent" to what happens in other countries.

I would say a golden opportunity has missed all of us.

After t having said all this, we are now told Bashir won't be coming due apparently to "pressing engagement". Bashir is now sending his Foreign Minister to replace him.

If not for this motion and for the widespread publicity across the globe, it is unthinkable that Bashir will not have come to attend the meet.

Bashir must respect the international law and face the charges against him at the ICC.

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