It is SIX (6) weeks since the forum on the Rome Statute was held on 27 April at Universiti Malaya, and our questions remain unanswered.
If you recall, the four academics who advised the Conference of Rulers, and prevented Malaysia from ratifying the treaty, were not present. Two declined the invitation, whilst the remaining two, did not bother to reply. To date, the cowardly four “kangkung professors” have failed to apologise to the nation.
The forum was organised by the students who had leaked the documents which they claimed may have been submitted to the Malay Rulers. The contents of their papers may have precipitated Malaysia’s sudden U-turn from ratifying the treaty.
The panel members at the forum were the Attorney-General, Tommy Thomas, former ambassador to The Netherlands, Noor Farida Ariffin, Constitutional Law Expert, Prof Shad Saleem Faruq, the social activist, Dr Syed Husin Ali, lawyer, Lim Wei Jiet and Asheeq Ali Sethi Alvi, the leader of the band of students who had released the incriminating document prepared by the four academics.
The legal experts made a good job of making the terms and the implications of the treaty simple for the layman. It was a pity that the academics who created confusion and mass panic were unwilling to debate their objections.
Serious Questions raised
The questions raised during this forum are simple.
- Will the four professors apologise to the nation and to the royals for lying and misleading everyone?
- Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that he was forced into a U-turn for the Rome Statute, because there had been attempts to remove him and his government from power. Was the paper of the four academics intended to achieve this end? Will the four professors be charged under the appropriate act – Sedition Act, Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) or Security Offences Special Measures Act (SOSMA), for attempting to cause disharmony and threaten national security?
- Have the four professors deliberately misled the royals, so that the royals can be maintained as a tool for Umno-Baru to oppress the rakyat?
- Did the royals not seek independent advice, to confirm or challenge, the advice of the four professors?
- At least two of the royals are academics. Why didn’t they question an obvious misrepresentation of the truth?
- Doctors can be struck-off and lawyers can be disbarred. Can the professors be stricken from the register of lecturers, for their very serious crime of deception and misrepresentation.
- Why did the former foreign Minister, Anifah Aman, refuse to sign the treaty and present it to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General?
- What were the objections of the former Attorney-General, Gani Patail, another Sabahan like Anifah, to the ratification of the Rome Statute?
- Why did these two Sabahans object? Is there a dark secret in Sabah, they wish to hide?
- Did the four professors present their paper to the Conference of Rulers, before or after the Attorney-General, Tommy Thomas, made his briefing?
- Why weren’t the professors and the A-G allowed to deliberate their arguments, at the same time, in the presence of the rulers, so that they could contradict, or confirm any points raised?
- Why is Umno-Baru being hypocritical and opposing the Rome Statute? Najib was happy to ratify it, except that Anifah Aman sat on it, and was removed from office after GE-14.
The forum has raised some interesting questions, including the integrity of the four professors. No-one is saying that free speech should be curbed, but manipulating facts is wrong.
The four professors have been cowardly and have not issued a statement, nor have they bothered to explain their paper. Their position is clearly untenable.
Reminder: Highlights of April Forum
There were four highlights of the forum.
- Many thorny issues were explained in simple terms.
- There were also many shock revelations, like the implementation of the Rome Statute was already being considered during Najib Abdul Razak’s tenure as prime minister.
- Many questions were raised as a result, like why the four professors were allowed to instigate a U-turn of a government decision.
- The defenders of the Malays, aka the Ketuanan Melayu brigade, knew who to target, when they made their police report as soon as the forum was over.
Professor Shad defined the role of the constitutional monarchs and reassured us that the International Criminal Court (ICC) only prosecutes the real initiators of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and the crime of aggression.
He also accused the four professors of presenting a baseless paper, in which they used one point of argument, “in the literal sense and in isolation”, whilst ignoring other articles in the constitution. He added that the ratification of the treaty would not need the consent of the rulers.
Professor Shad said that the Rome Statute does not refer to LGBT or crimes against the LGBT community, and dismissed the claim that the Agong could be arrested and prosecuted because of the criminal persecution of minorities like the LGBT community.
The A-G also reassured Malaysians, that the Rome Statute could not be used against the Agong, even if the Armed Forces were to commit heinous crimes, because the King is only a constitutional monarch. As example, he named Queen Elizabeth in the illegal invasion of Iraq and that she would not be held responsible should Tony Blair be tried for a war crime.
He confirmed that the ICC does not cover domestic crimes and stressed that the ICC had no power to interfere in the sovereignty of the country.
Noor Farida made the shock revelation that the process of ratifying the Rome Statute was started during Najib Abdul Razak’s tenure. She said, “We prepared the paper on the ratification of the Rome Statute for Cabinet and sent it to all government agencies. All the agencies agreed, except for the then Attorney-General’s Chambers, who was vehemently against it.”
Laywer Lim had accused the four academics of being “intellectually dishonest”, because they had selectively highlighted ICC prosecutions against absolute monarchs so as to create a perception of threat to the rulers.
Lim said the academics had to be censured because we needed to “…point out against these belligerent academics, who are misrepresenting and jeopardising the academic community…”
Law student, Asheeq said that the four academics had lied, and that their papers had been used to manipulate the decision not to ratify the Rome Statute. He wanted action taken against the four academics.
Dr Syed Husin who spoke in easily understood terms about the three “Rs” (race, religion, royalty), explained how the three “Rs” were used to frighten the Malays, and make them insecure. He said that the Malay feudal mentality helped to perpetuate these fears.
As his explanation cut through all the technical bits and legalese of the other speakers, it was to be expected that the Ketuanan Melayu types in the audience, lodged a police report against him. They accused him of insulting and undermining royalty.