Media statement by M.Kula Segaran in Parliament on Monday, 21st March 2011:
Bipartisan group of Parliamentarians for Global action welcomes Government of Malaysia's decision to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Bipartisan group of Parliamentarians for Global action welcomes Government of Malaysia's decision to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Government of Malaysia has reached the historic, unanimous decision to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the first permanent institution mandated to put an end to impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crime.
The decision follows the Asia-Pacific Consultation on the Universality of the Rome Statute of the ICC held on 9-10 March 2011 in the Parliament of Malaysia and organized by the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), a global network of over 1,300 Legislators in more than 126 countries worldwide, and with 35 Members in the Malaysian Parliament alone.
The Consultation was opened by the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, who also met with the Prime Minister the Hon. Dato' Sri Mohd Najib and the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs in the Prime Minister's office, YB Datuk Seri Nazri. Minister YB Nazri announced at this Regional event that a Cabinet-decision concerning accession to the ICC Statute would be shortly forthcoming.
A Memorandum of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs was subsequently written for Cabinet endorsing this step and the Cabinet gave its approval at the end of last week.
Malaysia's decision to join the 114 countries that have already become party to the Rome Statute of the ICC to date reflects its strong commitment to the Rule of Law and accountability worldwide and its rejection of impunity for any crimes, in particular those of most concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, as set out in the Rome Statute itself. Prior to this important step, Malaysia has always been committed to the principles enshrined in, and the integrity of the Rome Statute of the ICC.
While accession to the treaty is taken place through a decision-making process within the Executive, in accordance with the Malaysian Constitution, there is a need to progress with the importance of a law-making in Parliament on implementing legislation: "Parliamentarians are ready to start to work on legislation to implement the obligations contained in the Rome Statute, including procedures to fully cooperate with the Court and norms to incorporate international crimes and general principles of international criminal law into the domestic legal order".
Minister YB Nazri, concurred with the views expressed by us and reaffirmed the complementarity character of the ICC jurisdiction: "The ICC is a Court of last resort. It only intervenes when national prosecutions would be unavailable or ineffective.
Malaysia will therefore promptly adapt its laws to ensure full compliance with the complementarity principle that governs the relationship between the ICC and National Courts"Malaysia shall now call upon all countries that have not already taken this step, in particular our neighbouring countries in the Asian region who have not yet done so, to give serious consideration to becoming a State Party to the Rome Statute without delay.
* M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat