JOHOR BAHRU: The Sultan of Johor Ibrahim Iskandar thanked the Malaysian government on Sunday (Apr 7) for withdrawing from the Rome Statute.
"I thank the Malaysian government for listening to the voice of the people and cancelling the Rome Statute deal that was signed last March," he said. "I would also like to thank them for respecting and accepting the view of the Conference of Rulers."
"I hope that the government will always prioritise the interests of the people rather than political interests," he said, adding that he would ensure that the "sovereignty of the nation and the harmony of the people" were always preserved.
The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), the first permanent, treaty-based international criminal court whose power is limited to crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression, genocide and war crimes. It can also prosecute only individuals, not groups or countries.
More than 130 states have signed the Rome Statute, but only 123 have ratified the document, according to the UN Treaty Collection website on Sunday.
In March, Malaysian foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah signed the Instrument of Accession to the Rome Statute of the ICC, which was set to enter into force on Jun 1.
The signing was criticised as unconstitutional by Johor Crown Prince Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who claimed that the Conference of Rulers was not consulted prior to the signing.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday announced that the country would no longer join the ICC, citing political pressure and "confusion among rulers".
The prime minister said that the decision to withdraw was due to confusion created by “one particular person who wants to be free to beat up people”. He did not name the individual.
On Saturday, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim described the withdrawal as a wise move.
"There is wisdom in the prime minister and government’s move so as not to cause any friction,” he said.