Monday March 27, 2017
04:08 PM GMT+8

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STAR president Lina Soo, flanked by the party’s Women head Sylvia John and secretary general Simon Tiong, at a press conference in Kuching March 27, 2017. — Picture by Sulok Tawie STAR president Lina Soo, flanked by the party’s Women head Sylvia John and secretary general Simon Tiong, at a press conference in Kuching March 27, 2017. — Picture by Sulok Tawie KUCHING, March 27 — State Reform Party (STAR) expressed today its wish to join the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan Opposition in a bid to see straight fights between the Opposition and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 14th general elections due by June 2018.

“We must remember that we have BN as our common enemy so the Opposition parties need to have a single political platform,” STAR president Lina Soo told a news conference here.

She was responding to a statement by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian yesterday that STAR and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) were not invited to join PHS because they were small parties and did not have much support.

“Time and again, because of our arrogance, Barisan is still in power,” she said, without singling out any particular party.

Instead, she said that the Opposition parties, whether local-based ones like in Sarawak, Sabah or in the peninsula, were not united.

“In Sarawak, only three parties, the Sarawak chapters of DAP, PKR and Amanah, are united under PHS banner,” she said, referring to the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan bloc, before adding, “while the rest, like STAR, PBDS Baru, Sarawak Workers' Party and Parti Bumi Kenyalang, are not.”

“In the peninsula and Sabah, there are blocs being formed by political parties instead of one single bloc to challenge the Barisan,” she said, pointing out that only a united opposition parties have a chance to topple the federal BN from power.

Soo also expressed shock that Sarawak Pakatan Harapan had rejected her party and PBDS Baru after extending an olive branch.

“Like I said before, we are prepared to work with other Opposition parties in Sarawak because we believe the Opposition parties should seek allies to fight our common enemy, the ruling coalition,” she said.

She added that she was confused by Baru’s statement that the pact was willing to work with local Opposition parties like hers, but would not invite them to join Pakatan Harapan.

STAR held its annual general meeting yesterday and reiterated its opposition to any attempt by the federal government to pass a Bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 which will be enforced in Sarawak.

“The passage of a federal religious law violates the Malaysia Agreement 1963, and is, therefore, against the Federal Constitution,” Soo said.

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