Aspirasi withdraws from contesting in GE15

Lina Soo (file photo)

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KUCHING, Nov 5: Sarawak Aspiration People’s Party (Aspirasi) made a shocking decision to withdraw from contesting in the 15th General Election (GE15).

According to its president Lina Soo, the party reached the collective decision after consulting its members, supporters, and wellwishers — as well as appointing research firms to undertake independent surveys to gauge grassroots sentiments.

In a statement released today, she revealed that many factors contributed to the decision; the first being that Aspirasi does not support the dissolution of Parliament to make way for GE15 when the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) had announced that the Northeast Monsoon will occur between November 2022 and March 2023.

“In addition to the adverse weather forecast, Malaysia is still facing the Covid-19 public health threat where a wave of new mutant variants could occur at any time. It seems the government is willing to risk the lives of its citizens over its political agenda of Game of Thrones, and Aspirasi will not be complicit in this,” she said.

The second reason is the crowded marketplace where too many parties are competing. Soo said Sarawak is already so divided and were Aspirasi to enter the fray, it would create split votes to benefit certain parties.

“Aspirasi reiterates the party would not participate in the general election just for the glamour of contesting and hidden agenda, knowing this will result in a split vote and give a skewed outcome which does not reflect the will of the voters. Aspirasi will uphold its principles to prove its political integrity and dignity by refusing to play the spoiler role and becoming a stooge,” said Soo.

Lastly, she said, GE15 is a federal election to choose the federal government. Any endeavour to pursue Sarawak’s aspiration to be prosperous, powerful, and independent must start with the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).

“Constitutional changes must start from DUN, and legislation passed in DUN can then be represented for engagement and negotiation with the federal government. Two clear examples are the Petroleum Development Act and Territorial Sea Act, which must be rejected in DUN before Sarawak can be excluded from these two unconstitutional acts specific to Sarawak.

“Sarawak issues must first come from our powerful DUN to secure the constitutional mandate of Sarawak before going to federal to give bite and meaning to our Sarawak rights and interests. To go to Parliament before undertaking the necessary legislative and constitutional process in DUN is like putting the cart before the horse; therefore, we must get the process right,” she said.

Aspirasi previously announced that it would contest in the Mas Gading, Puncak Borneo, Serian, Bandar Kuching, and Stampin parliamentary seats. — DayakDaily