Aspirasi chief challenges PBK president to public debate on Sarawak independence

Lina Soo (file photo)

KUCHING, Jan 11: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo has challenged Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan to a public debate on Sarawak independence in response to a post recently viralled by Voon in a chatgroup.

Soo in a statement today said the post by Voon in the ‘Sarawak Talk’ chatgroup had said that the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) is legally recognised under international law when explaining PBK’s quest for Sarawak independence.

However, Soo opined that UDI is not international law and thus is not recognised by the United Nations (UN).

She said that UDI, where a territory unilaterally declares its independence, is not a legal right under international law and at best, remains a legally neutral act.

“If UDI is legitimate under international law, Taiwan would have declared independence through UDI in its Taiwan Parliament and become a UN member. But Taiwan has not done so.

“So too, would Hong Kong have declared UDI in 1997 before its handover to China and become a new nation, if Britain and UN had recognised the legitimacy of UDI under international law.

“Upon what legitimacy then could Sarawak independence through UDI be recognised by UN and the international community?” Soo questioned.

In the meantime, Soo believed the call for a public debate on Sarawak independence is timely as she had been receiving calls and enquiries after the 12th Sarawak Election on the subject.

She said a public debate between political parties advocating independence is justifiable, adding that Sarawak’s independence is a matter of public interest.

Soo pointed out that Aspirasi viewed the people’s aspiration for Sarawak independence seriously and wanted to present the facts accurately.

She hoped Voon would accept the invitation for the debate on the process and mechanism to achieve national independence with open arms.

Soo asserted that it is important to have a strategy and process to achieve independence in a practical, peaceful and effective manner. — DayakDaily