THE KUALA LUMPUR TRIBUNAL ON WAR CRIMES
Nov 29 2011 Dr Mahathir Mohamad
1. Not many Malaysians are aware that from 19th November to 22nd November a trial on war crimes was held in Kuala Lumpur.
2. Many would say what is the use of a trial by a tribunal which is not recognised by any Government. And in addition the accused persons were not present although the summons were legally served on them.
3. But think again.
4. It is a legal and moral principle that everyone must be equal before the law. In Malaysia even the reigning Sultans are not above the law.
5. It follows that no one, no country should be above international law.
6. In the charter of the United Nations no country is accorded the privilege or status of being above the laws, rules and regulations of the UN.
7. We frequently read reports of tribunals being set up by the UN and also by the victors in war to try war criminals. In Nuremberg and Tokyo the “war criminals” were sentenced to death by the tribunals.
8. However, it has become obvious that the powerful countries and their leaders have never been tried for the crimes they have committed. They are clearly above the law.
9. Do we accept this? If we do then we would be accepting what is a travesty of justice.
10.The general assembly of the United Nations and the weak nations of the world have found no way for applying the laws, international or otherwise, against powerful leaders of powerful countries who are clearly involved in international crimes.
11. The UN and the international community have failed.
12. The world should not accept this failure. Somehow some punishment should be meted to countries and leaders guilty of international crimes. Their deeds must be put before a court of law and the verdict pronounced, After that the world body would be informed as will the different agencies concerned with the maintenance of world peace.
13. This is the age of the NGOs, the Non-Governmental Organisations. Like it or not the Government must recognise the NGOs seriously and consider their views.
14. The Tribunal set up by the people is an NGO. It behoves Government and international institutions like the UN to take srious note of the Tribunal as an international NGO.
15. The general public also should take note of the verdict of the Tribunal. Otherwise they will, in one way or another, be honouring criminals, international criminals.