Ex-servicemen back exit from Rome Statute amid warning of coup

The National Patriots Association says any coercion of the government or prime minister to step down would be against the will of the people.

PETALING JAYA: The National Patriots Association (Patriot) has backed Putrajaya’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, saying protest against ratification of the treaty appears to have been staged with the “ulterior motive” of bringing down the government.

In a statement today, Patriot president Mohamed Arshad Raji said his group agreed with the G25 group of eminent Malays that further discussions should be held before the matter is brought to Parliament through elected representatives.

“Any coercion of our democratically elected government or the prime minister to step down through sinister means or by force is against the will of the people,” he said.

“In the event that situations turn untenable, Patriot is confident that our inspector-general of police and chief of defence forces will remain neutral and act for the collective good of our nation.”

On Saturday, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia had withdrawn from the Rome Statute in a “political” move due to fear of a coup d’etat bid spurred on by powers behind the scenes.

In an interview with several media outlets, he spoke of the possibility of the issue being manipulated to the extent that people take to the streets.

Arshad questioned how far “street protesters” who are against the Rome Statute understand the treaty and “how it challenges our constitution and the position of the Malay rulers”.

“As in most cases of a sinister campaign, first a mob-for-hire group will be mobilised. Or, in the usual modus operandi of opposition parties, a spin master concocts a make-real story.

“Next, the person or politicians who are the mastermind move in to wreck havoc, taking advantage of the mob or spun story.”

He added that even academics who give “narrow interpretations” of the supreme commander of the Armed Forces “do not understand what a war entails”.

“Even if their officially unsolicited views are correct, in the event of a war it will be the officers and men of the security forces at the front line, the rakyat, and the whole nation who will perish first.

“They will die protecting king and country,” he added.