Sarawak’s STAR is now Aspirasi

Sulok Tawie
Aspirasi president Lina Soo holding the party's new symbol at a press conference in Kuching, February 22, 2020. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Feb 22 ― State Reform Party (STAR) has finally received approval from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to be re-named Sarawak People's Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) on January 24, its president Lina Soo announced today.

The party's previous symbol has also been changed from a nine-pointed star to the Rajah Brooke butterfly. Soo said the changes reflect the current aspiration of the party members, supporters, and Sarawakians who desire to see a free, rich and glorious state.

“Time never stands still. Now is the 21st century. If we don’t change nothing will change. Progress needs change, moving forward necessitates change,” Soo said.

“Sarawak today is at the political crossroad, where a wrong choice will bring us down to further poverty, exploitation and beggary.”

STAR was formed approved and registered on October 9, 1996, led by the late Dr Patau Rubis who was sacked as an assistant minister by the then chief minister Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud for allegedly supporting an Opposition in the 1995 general election.

Soo said Aspirasi aspires to form the third force in Sarawak politics, as shown in the 14th general election in May 2018 with the emergence of a two-party system, after 55 years of unbroken one-party rule. 

“However, the two-party system, as the name suggests works only for the two parties who serve themselves and their political bosses to safeguard their own positions and political power.

“Now the time is ripe for Sarawak to lead the way in Third Force politics,”  she said, adding that modern democracies such as in US and Europe where a political party or group acts as check and counterbalancing force between two major political parties, and is in position to make demands from either party in the interests of the people.

“The Third Party is about serving the people and does not care about ministerial positions, GLC appointments, contracts and does not have to kowtow to the government or political bosses. 

“Aspirasi will be the Third Party catalyst because it is the only viable Sarawak political vehicle to carry the people’s aspiration for self-determination,” Soo said.

She said she urged the local Opposition parties, like Parti Bumi Kenyalang, Parti Sarawak Bersatu and Sarawak Workers' Party, to join forces with Aspirasi.

Soo said Aspirasi advocates the Sarawak Referendum as its core policy goal and political agenda in the 12th state election, which includes the option of Sarawak independence and restoration of sovereignty. 

“With representation in the Sarawak State Assembly, our party shall pursue the Sarawak Referendum to direct the Sarawak government to make the Referendum constitutional,” she said.

Soo said it has been 57 years since Sarawak became a component nation of the Federation of Malaya renamed Malaysia. 

“No evaluative process has ever been carried out, despite it is believed there was an understanding that there would be a review of the Federation after 10 years,” she added.

“With this change of name and logo, Aspirasi declares our core policy goal to pursue the Sarawak Referendum to allow our people to determine and to let known beyond all doubts what future we choose. 

“The people of Sarawak are now politically matured and capable of making an informed decision to determine the sovereignty and destiny of our homeland,” she said.

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