Wisma Putra: Decision to accede to Rome Statute won’t affect Agong’s immunity

Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a discussion at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Kuala Lumpur February 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR,. The government’s decision to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was made with confidence that such action would not affect the position and immunity of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement today said an in-depth and thorough study on all aspects of the matter had been carried out before the decision to accede to the Rome Statute was made.

“Article 40 of the Federal Constitution clearly states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, in the exercise of his functions, shall act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.

“Foreign Minister (Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah) has, on February 15, informed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah of the government’s decision to accede to the Rome Statute,” the statement said.

It said that the decision was also in line with the ‘New Malaysia’ government policy to uphold the principles of truth, human rights, rule of law, fairness and accountability.

As a country that has signed the Final Act of the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court on July 17, 1998, for the ICC establishment, Malaysia stands firm that the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression, should be brought to justice.

“The ICC upholds the principle of complementarity in which Article 17 of the Rome Statute provides for an international crime case to be investigated only if the State involved, on certain reasons, is unwilling or unable to carry out the investigation or prosecution.

“In other words, the ICC is the court of last resort,” the statement added.

As of March 4, 2019, a total of 124 countries have become the signatories of the Rome Statute.

Amongst the signatories are countries practising constitutional monarchy system Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Japan, Jordan, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Samoa, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. — Bernama