In the 14th General Elections, Sarawak State Reform Party (STAR) did not win in the three parliamentary seats it contested. Neither did it win any seats in the Sarawak state elections held in 2016. The party contested in 11 seats with all the candidates losing their deposits garnering an average of less than 2% of votes cast in each seat, including Lina Soo.
She received 331 votes in the state seat of Batu Lintang, a constituency of 28,000 voters and which is currently held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). Lina did however improve on her 2011 performance in the same seat where she received 290 votes.
This is important as although she gives the impression of representing all Sarawakians, her voice and the voice of her party should not be seen as being representative of Sarawakians as a whole. STAR itself has only 5,000 members. The population of Sarawak is just over 2.5 million. Needless to say, the majority of Sarawakians are not taken up by her or her party’s empty rhetoric and ‘syiok sendiri’ politics.
As an example, she has championed aggressively for Petronas to stop all its operations in Sarawak without considering the impact on thousands of Sarawakians working in the oil and gas sector and their families who depend on the company for their livelihood. She demanded the state government ask Petronas pay mining and related fees for its 44 years of oil and gas activities which she wildly estimates to be US$1 trillion. Clearly as a leader of a state political party, Lina is shamefully ignorant as it was Taib Mahmud and his uncle who signed the PDA 1974 and insisted on 5% of oil royalties, without the state having to invest any money to develop the sector. Sarawak for Sarawak dirty politicians.
Petronas has not been her only target.
The 54-year old housewife has contemplated suing the British Government for failing to return sovereignty to the state before the formation of Malaysia 50 years ago. She plans to raise approximately RM250,000 from supporters to research and prepare documentation and to get legal opinion. Registered supporters who pay a registration fee of RM50 have been promised a share of the compensation money should they win the case! This is what a self-labelled party leader does? Looking back at things 50 years ago, but no idea how to catalyse a change from crony BN-GPS politics?
Let us be VERY CLEAR – Lina was a former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) member. She is openly critical of Tun Mahathir yet has repeatedly requested to join Pakatan Harapan without success. Baru Bian and Chong was firmly against her disruptive and selfish behavior.
Spurned by mainstream politics she has vowed to push her agenda under the Sarawak Baru alliance, itself a non-starter as the other component parties Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (TERAS), Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) are seen as disparate entities trying to force themselves to come together just for the sake of opposing whoever is on the other side.
Lina Soo’s STAR’s branch in neighbouring Sabah was headed by Jeffrey Kitingan, an equally colourful character who was also once a PKR member. In 2016, the Sabah division of STAR became known as Parti Solidariti Sabah retaining the acronym STAR. Just like Lina Soo and STAR in Sarawak, Jefrrey Kitingan and STAR in Sabah has become a political outcast in Sabah after he was reported to have accepted money to jump ship to help Barisan Nasional (BN) gain the majority of seats in Sabah and form the state government which crumbled a few days later when some BN component parties jumped ship.
At most, wannabe politicians like Lina Soo only add little more colour and comic sideshow entertainment to Malaysia’s political scene. Their agenda does not even resonate with party members. Their plans and policies are not thought out and cannot be implemented without hurting fellow Sarawakians.
Please. Sarawak For Sarawakians with passion and integrity. Not cheap self-promoting politics.
Picture: Dari Sematan ke Lawas blog