Calling for referendum is not an act of hostility or violence, rebuts Soo

Lina Soo

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KUCHING, Jan 15: State Reform Party (Star) president Lina Soo believed that it was misleading and dangerous for Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How to connect violence and bloodshed to independence referendums.

She said if See were to have done his homework, he would find that 44 out of 50 independence movements were preceded by referendums and out of the 44 referendums, conflict broke out only in six cases.

“In other words, the split or independence was achieved peacefully in 38 out of 50 cases, attaining an achievement rate of 86 per cent. In fact, the ballot replaced the bullet,” said Soo in a statement.

She was not surprised by See’s claim as it revealed that he was speaking in his “Malayan” posture rather than “Sarawakian” mode.

“Is he serving the needs and aspiration of Sarawakians or serving the interests of his political masters a thousand miles away separated by international seas?

“Why deny our own people our inalienable right to self-determination under UN (the United Nations) Charter and our right to vote in a legitimate and peaceful process?”

As for his advice for STAR, Soo gently reminded that perhaps See might look inwards at his own party PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) first.

“STAR does not have the corruption, frogging, history of broken promises and power hunger games exhibited by many political parties in Malaysia,” she said.

Soo agreed with See’s statement that all political parties and leaders in Sarawak should project and uphold a decent level of political dignity and nobility to serve the greater interests of Sarawak and win the confidence and support of Sarawakians.

But did he practice what he preached, asked Soo, as her call to See to table an independence referendum bill in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) had produced a vitriolic outburst and irascibility, the likes of which she said had never been exhibited before by any Sarawak politician.

“To quote YB See, ‘By agitating lawlessness, hostilities, and violent confrontation in disregard for the political and social order, peace and harmony in our Sarawakian society, such political party or individual will not gain the support of the Sarawakian voters’, Soo wondered how a call for an independence referendum to ascertain the sentiments of the people could be allegorised as lawlessness, hostility and violence.

“It is reckless and mischievous of YB See to mention in two paragraphs that I am advocating lawlessness, hostilities and violent confrontation.

“This is a very serious charge by a politician to tarnish a person’s character, political party and a people’s movement calling for the right to vote.

“How is calling for a referendum process on a constitutional and legitimate platform ‘lawless, hostile and violent?’” Soo asked.

“Such powerful words allude to terrorism, and for an ADUN (assemblyman) to make such an allegory is most unbecoming and irresponsible of an elected assemblyman,” said Soo. —DayakDaily