Thursday, October 16, 2014

MP Kula sighs over what-might-have-been

8:22AM Oct 16, 2014 Malaysiakini

By Terence Netto

MP Kula sighs over what-might-have-been 

PARLIAMENT Had Malaysia proceeded from initial interest to actual accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the prosecution of the guilty over the shooting down of MH17 would have been less difficult than it is now, Parliament was told.

Having campaigned for Malaysia’s accession to the ICC, DAP national vice-chairperson M Kulasegaran said the federal cabinet had agreed to the accession in 2011, but that the reservations of the attorney-general (AG) had held up matters.

“Now, Malaysia is paying a high price for the delay in converting interest in the ICC to actual membership of it,” the MP for Ipoh Barat told Parliament yesterday.

“It was reported by the New York-based Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) that had Malaysia and the Ukraine been State Parties to the ICC at the time of the shooting down of MH17, the Rome Statute would have been applied.

The statute would apply as the incident was committed in both the territories - the sky under Ukrainian jurisdiction and the aircraft, which is the extended national territory of Malaysia, under our jurisdiction,” argued Kulasegaran

He noted that the AG has said Malaysia will bring back the suspect who allegedly shot down the MH17 and charge him in our courts.

“Does this statement of the AG bear up to even the most cosmetic scrutiny?” queried the federal legislator.

Kulasegaran said the 2nd Asian Pacific Parliamentary Consultation on the universality of the Rome Statute of the ICC was organised by the PGA and was held in the Malaysian Parliament from March 9 to 10, 2011.

Cabinet approved accession...

He said following the conference, it was announced that the cabinet had approved the country’s accession to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

He said this announcement generated enormous goodwill for the country, at home and abroad, including among our important trading partners and economic and regional blocs.

“Our campaign to secure a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council received an enormous boost from the disclosure of our willingness to accede to the Rome Statue of the ICC,” he said.

Unfortunately, he said, two-and-a-half years later, the government has yet to honour this international commitment. He said that 122 nations have acceded to the Rome Statue but Malaysia is not one of them.

“We must ask ourselves, individually and collectively, what sort of signal does this sends to our friends around the world,” Kulasegaran added.

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