Hello – and Goodbye! How Royal Powerplay aborted Malaysia’s ICC Membership

On 5 April 2019, the United States revoked the visa of the ICC chief prosecutor because of her attempts to investigate allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, including any that may have been committed by American forces. On the same day, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that his country was withdrawing its signature from the Rome Statute, just one month after having signed it. Did the Malaysian drama just coincide with Washington’s move? The most likely answer is yes. Rather, it reflects long-existing tensions between Malaysia’s federal government and the country’s royalty.

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