Thursday, June 14, 2012

Malaysia’s accession to the ICC cannot and should not be delayed any further.

Media statement by M.Kula Segaran,  MP for Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman in Parliament on 12thJune2012
Malaysia’s accession to the ICC cannot and should not be delayed any further.
On the 19thMarch2011 the Malaysian Cabinet announced that Malaysia will accede to the Rome Statute of the International Court (ICC) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Court 
This decision to accede was well received by all, as it will definitely shore up the image of Malaysia in the international arena as a country which adheres to  International Law and order.
The decision to accede to the Rome Statute by the  Malaysian Government came about  after the 2nd Asian Pacific Parliamentary consultation on the Universality of the Rome statute of the ICC organized by the Parliamentarians For Global Action held in the Malaysia Parliament  on 9-10March2011
The International Criminal Court came into being on 1stJuly 2002. As at April 2012, 121 states have become state parties of the ICC . The primary reason for the setting up of the ICC as permanent tribunal is to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and the crimes of aggression. The very mention of the ICC will deter mass murders and the like.
 It is now over a year yet the process of depositing  the instruments of accession has yet to take place.
Today I had the opportunity to raise this issue and ask the latest on the accession process. The Minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Seri Nazri said that although the necessary domestication of local statutes has occurred , there is still a barrier namely the special standing of the Malay Royalty.
I asserted that if Jordan an absolute Monarchy Islamist country can accede to the Rome statute,  the delay by Malaysia is shear inertia in its obligations.
Further in my supplementary question,  I said  that the Government is inconsistent, dragging its feet and not serious in accelerating the process of accession. This flip flop policy of the Government is most discouraging and disheartening.
One would have thought after the Cabinet’s agreement to accede, the process of accession is just procedural only. The delay in depositing the instruments is definitely inconsistent with Cabinet’s agreement.
The Minister gave an assurance that with the royalty hurdle settled,  the process of accession will take place immediately.
The MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan then asked, as to the time it will take for depositing the instruments of accession. To this, the minister said for the time being,  a time limit is impossible to be stated.
The Attorney General has been against Malaysia’s accession from day one. He , for reasons best known,  has said Malaysian laws are inconsistent with the requirements of the Rome statute thus preventing Malaysia becoming a member. He even openly spoke against the accession at the Asia- Pacific meeting held in Parliament last March. But now the Minister says our laws have been amended to be consistent with the ICC.
I spoke to the Minister out side the House and he has given an assurance that the due process of accession will be speeded up. Apparently now the AG is on the way to Europe where he will confer on this issue of the Malay Royalty  with ICC officials.

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