Gerak raises the pressure against anti-Rome Statute academics

Gerak raises the pressure against anti-Rome Statute academics

PUCHONG: An academic movement called Malaysian Academic Movement (Gerak) have joined the fray in raising the pressure against the four anti-Rome Statute academics to defend their views in an upcoming forum next week.

“In this regard, Gerak, as an academic organisation concerned about academic integrity and accountability, calls upon the four academics above, all from public universities funded by Malaysian taxpayers, to come and speak at this public forum, to debate their stand.

“Academics, like other professionals must defend the credibility and integrity of their work. Academic reputations — not only individual but also institutional — must be earned and upheld,” it said.

“Indeed, they have been as quiet as church mice in the public domain. Two have since declined — and the other two have not responded to — invitations to speak at a public forum on the Rome Statute, convened by a number of civil society and academic organisations, including Gerak,” it said.

The four anti-Rome Statute academics are Universiti Teknologi Mara deputy vice-chancellor and law professor Datuk Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University Malaysia law associate professor Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia law lecturers, Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

All four had convinced the Council of Rulers to reject the Rome Statute earlier this month.  This was revealed by a student group who obtained the summary presentation of the group.

Malaysia had acceded to sign the statute that would enable it access to the International Criminal Court. However the rejection of the Council of Rulers resulted in Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announcing Malaysia’s withdrawal from the treaty.

Yesterday, constitutional lawyer Lim Wei Jiat also took a potshot at the four academics in calling them to attend the forum entitled, Malaysia and the Rome Statute.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas, Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi, G25 leader Nor Farida Ariffin are the confirmed speakers. Seats for the four anti – Rome Statute academics have been reserved if they opt to show up.

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