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Wisma Putra: Rome Statute won't affect Agong's immunity

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Wisma Putra has assured that the position of the monarchy will not be threatened after Malaysia acceded to the Rome Statute, a treaty governing the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This came after Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim claimed that the Malay rulers may no longer be relevant after Malaysia acceded to the treaty.

"Prior to joining the Rome Statute, the government had conducted an in-depth study on various aspects.

"The government is confident that the decision will not affect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's position and immunity," Wisma Putra said in a statement today.

On Friday, Tunku Ismail was asked by the "Friends of Johor" Twitter account if the Rome Statute would threaten the monarchy.

He replied: "Yes, the position of the Malay rulers may no longer be relevant after this and the sovereignty of the rulers will surely be threatened. As a result, it will impact the status of Malays and Islam in Malaysia."

The Rome Statute governs the ICC which tries four core international crimes, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crime of aggression.

Explaining the Rome Statute, Wisma Putra said Article 17 of the treaty states that an international crime will only be investigated and prosecuted by the ICC if a country is unwilling or unable to investigate any individual who is suspected of committing an international crime.

"In other words, it is a court of last resort," it said.

It added that as of March 4, 124 countries are party to the Rome Statute.

It said these countries include constitutional monarchies such as Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Japan, Jordan, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Samoa, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, Wisma Putra announced that Malaysia had acceded to the Rome Statute.

It added that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was informed on Feb 15.

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