PUTRAJAYA: The government, in moving forward, will look into the compatibility of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the local culture, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
He said there is nothing to be afraid of if Malaysia decides to accede to the statute. The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC. It was adopted at a conference in Rome on July 17, 1998, and entered into force on July 1, 2002.
Dr Mahathir said the government had to backtrack on its decision to ratify the statute because some people twisted information when they knew nothing about it.
“But we will explain to them (the people) why the Rome Statute will not do any harm to anyone who is not a criminal,” he told the media at a special interview in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Dr Mahathir said that whether a country is a party to the Rome Statute or not, the whole world will turn against it if there is wrongdoing.
Citing an example, he said Myanmar does not subscribe to the Rome Statute but the international community has condemned it and is acting against it in the case of the killing of the Rohingya.
Dr Mahathir announced last month that Malaysia was withdrawing from the Rome Statute following confusion arising politically and within society, stressing that the decision was made not because the statute is harmful to the country.