Only Parliament can enact Referendum Ordinance, says STAR chief

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Sept 26: State Reform Party (STAR) today said it is not mandatory to use a referendum to gain independence as Singapore had set the precedent when it exited the Federation of Malaysia without a referendum.

But for other purposes, such as for the people to make decisions on major issues of national and public interests, a referendum is needed. However, that requires a Referendum Ordinance, and it can only be enacted by Parliament — not a state legislature.

STAR president Lina Soo opined that a referendum is a democratic electoral process that needs to be conducted by the Election Commission (SPR).

“So it has to be done in Parliament. The referendum bill also involves amending the Federal Constitution, and that can only be done through Parliament. The Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) itself cannot enact such a law without involving SPR, which is a federal authority; therefore, it has to be a federal law,” Soo told DayakDaily.

Soo was commenting on the call by Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) yesterday for the Sarawak government to enact a Referendum Ordinance in the DUN.

S4S’ call was made after one of its leaders attended the ‘Discussion on MA63 and OMO (Oil Mining Ordinance 1958) Amendment (2018) Seminar’ organised by Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting in Miri recently.

The speakers at the seminar included Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang, former SUPP treasurer-general Datuk David Teng, Soo and MA63 expert Zainal Ajamain.

At the gathering, the question of enactment of a Referendum Ordinance was raised and the panel of speakers shared their views on this matter. — DayakDaily