Rome treaty: Mischief triumphs over truth, says Rithauddeen

Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, a member of Kelantan royalty, was foreign minister for six years in the 1970s and 1980s. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A former foreign minister has urged Malaysia to reconsider its decision not to ratify the Rome Statute, saying the decision to withdraw might represent “the threat of mischief to triumph over the truth”.

The former minister, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail, made his call in a statement tonight for the United Nations Association of Malaysia, of which he is president.

He said the parties that are opposed to the Rome Statute should be consulted and persuaded that accession to the statute does not in any manner affect their status, privileges and prerogatives.

Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen said the association noted that “the Malaysian Government was compelled” to take its “precipitate decision” to withdraw from the Rome Statute, which sets up the International Criminal Court.

However, accession to the Rome Statute would not diminish Malaysia’s sovereignty or affect the status of the Malay Rulers, including the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, said Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, who is a member of Kelantan royalty.

He said: “To give in to sentiment that accession of the Rome Statute will undermine the sovereignty of our Rulers would suggest that the Malaysian people have allowed the threat of mischief to triumph over the truth.”

Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, who was foreign minister for six years in the 1970s and 1980s, said the foreign ministry had deliberated on the Rome Statute for more than two decades.

“As the agency entrusted to monitor the pace and pulse of international relations, Wisma Putra’s considered judgment must be given due weightage,” he said.