Monday, December 8, 2014

Kula gives case for joining ICC more grist

12:44PM Dec 8, 2014 Malaysiakini

By Terence Netto

Kula gives case for joining ICC more grist

Close examination of the reasons given by the government for Malaysia’s hesitations on joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) reveal their qualms as not substantive.

Ardent proponent of the country’s accession to the ICC to which 122 countries have acceded, M Kulasegaran, said today that the international lobby, Parliamentarians for Global Acton, have examined the reasons for Malaysia’s quavers and found them to be evasive rather than substantive.

The DAP MP for Ipoh Barat is a member of PGA which gathered last week in Morocco for its annual conclave where Kulasegaran was furnished with the ripostes to Malaysia’s qualms about enlisting with the ICC.

“The attorney-general’s qualms over the wider scope given to the definition of ‘international crimes’ are based on a misperception,” said the federal legislator.

“The AG feels that the wider scope and imprecision of the definitions render them broader than the definitions given them by customary international law to which Malaysia subscribes,” elaborated Kulasegaran (left).

“Actually, the Rome Statute narrows the definitions especially with respect to persecution and other inhuman actions under crimes against humanity.

“Previous exercises of these statues at Nuremberg in 1945 and in ICC trials for Yugoslavia in 1993 and those for Rwanda in 2002 saw a wider definition given to ‘crimes against humanity’ than are presently done under the Rome Statue,” explained Kulasegaran.

The DAP national vice-chairperson has in the past four years lobbied for the government to sign up with the ICC, which the Najib Abdul Razak administration signed in April 2011 that it intended to do, but qualms and quavers from the AG’s Chambers have held up the actual accession.

Since then the shooting down of MH17 over Ukraine last July has sharpened the case for Malaysia’s accession, but residual doubts emanating from the AG’s Chambers have stymied matters.

Questions about the scope of the ICC prosecutor’s role, and amending certain provisions of the federal constitution and of Malaysia laws to make these consistent with the Rome Statue have similarly held up the country’s accession to the protocols.

“These are questions that pertain to the equality of all states under the Rome Statue and because 122 nations who have already signed up have not found them forbidding, Malaysia would discover the same,” advised Kulasegaran.

“Our experience with MH17 shows our lack of clout in pursuing the culprits. We would not have been this defenceless had we been members of the ICC,” he argued.

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