Saifuddin aims to call 'kangkung professors' bluff on Rome Statute

Yasmin Ramlan

Modified 28 Apr 2019, 3:32 am

INTERVIEW | Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has an axe to grind with those whom he claimed manipulated facts on the Rome Statute, including certain "kangkung professors."

During a group interview in Putrajaya yesterday, Saifuddin repeatedly said he was going to call their "bluff" on the statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This comes as Putrajaya attempts to bounce back following botched attempts to ratify the Rome Statute and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).

"For Icerd it is the end of the road but for the ICC, we will see. Because we are calling their bluff.

"We have learned from the ICC and Icerd. We will be more careful in our communication (with the public), we will communicate more, expose the bluffs.

"You've noticed, I've gone on two TV stations to call the bluff (on false claims), including by 'kangkung professors'," Saifuddin said.

'Kangkung professors' is a term used to describe academics of a low standard.

Kangkung or water spinach is a vegetable that is sometimes maligned as a green that grows in drains.

Four academics have been partly blamed for allegedly misleading the Conference of Rulers on the Rome Statute with a biased paper on the treaty.

This allegedly fanned concerns voiced by critics of the Rome Statute, including Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who claimed that the treaty undermined Malaysia's sovereignty and the royal institution.

This is despite Saifuddin's ministry stressing that the position of monarchs would not be undermined by the statute.

Moving forward, Saifuddin said Putrajaya is studying the United Nations Convention against Torture (Uncat).

He said this treaty was less sensitive and controversial than Icerd and the Rome Statute, but Putrajaya will discuss the matter thoroughly before ratifying it.

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