Malaysia won't join ICC over pressure from Muslim opposition

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says Malaysia won't ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the second treaty the government is withdrawing from after coming under pressure from the majority Muslim opposition.

Malaysia earlier this year backtracked on acceding to a U.N. treaty against racial discrimination following a massive Muslim rally.

On Friday, Mahathir said the Cabinet decided not to ratify the Rome Statute as it has been manipulated by his opponents. He rejected allegations that the treaty will undermine Malaysia's sovereignty and its royal families after a powerful state sultan joined the opposition to Malaysia's joining the court.

The court has been hobbled by the refusal of the U.S., Russia, China and other major nations to join. Others that have quit include Burundi and the Philippines.