Academics should defend their stand on Rome Statute at forum, Patriot agrees

The International Criminal Court was created under the Rome Statute for the prosecution of those who commit genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity. (Reuters pic)

SUBANG JAYA: A group comprising veterans and retired police officers today urged the four academics who advised the Malay rulers on the Rome Statute to defend their stand at an upcoming forum on the issue this month.

National Patriots Organisation (Patriot) president Mohamed Arshad Raji said the academics had either declined the invitation to the forum at Universiti Malaya on April 27 or failed to respond.

“Patriot agrees that the academics should be able to defend their academic integrity and accountability,” he said at a press conference here today.

The Rome Statute is an international agreement that created the International Criminal Court for the prosecution of those who commit genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity.

The Malaysian Academic Movement has also called on the four academics to attend the forum, which is convened by a number of civil society and academic organisations following the leak of the executive summary of the presentation by the academics to the rulers by nine student activists on April 7.

The four academics are Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) deputy vice-chancellor and law professor Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) law associate professor Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) law lecturers Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

Arshad said the public, too, should be fully engaged in discussions on the issue.

Patriot committee member Ahmad Ghazali meanwhile questioned the motive behind the academics’ move, and whether their research was conducted with academic integrity.

He added that any act of wilfully and maliciously deceiving the rulers, especially in the context of causing possible unrest in the country, would be viewed as an act of treason.

On a separate matter, Patriot deputy president Mahamud Ahmad offered to provide legal advice for the police who could be facing disciplinary action for allowing the public to inspect their patrol car during the Rantau by-election on April 13.

Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun reportedly said internal action would be taken against the officers in accordance with the Integrity and Compliance Department procedures established in July 2014.

During the incident, five men had demanded to inspect a police vehicle, claiming that it contained excess ballot papers.

“We believe that the cops allowed the public to inspect their patrol car to avoid any tension,” Mahamud said.

“We urge the police to investigate the incident thoroughly before deciding to impose any further action against the cops.”