Soo (seated centre) with STAR members in Sibu.

KUCHING: Sarawak must not be sucked into the racial and religious discord, and hate speech playing out in Malaya today.

Soo (seated centre) with STAR members in Sibu.

State Reform Party Sarawak (STAR) president Lina Soo said to be embroiled in the problems and controversies of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government which were self-inflicted would distract Sarawak and its people from preparing for a better future. 

“Sarawak’s concerns are bread-and-butter issues, things like access to basic necessities such as water and electricity supplies, healthcare, food, education, jobs, business opportunities and welfare for the unfortunate. 

“We need Sarawakians uplifted from poverty, and every Sarawak citizen has equal opportunity to pursue his economic, social and political future,” said Soo in a statement yesterday.

She stressed that Sarawakians need to set priorities, be socially and politically mature, and happy with the government. 

“We must not be distracted by all the political drama from quarters which have nothing to do with us, and instead to stay focused on working towards a better Sarawak. 

“It is up to Sarawakians themselves to seek a life of security, prosperity, freedom and independence, and indeed they should do so, sooner rather than later,” she said.

She then observed that of late, there have been many issues and controversies boiling over from Malaya. And one alarming problem today is the proliferation of hate speech which is a scourge and menace to a society where ethnic relations are fragile.

“In building a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, there must be racial unity and religious harmony in tandem with economic and social development. 

“In a country where ethnicity is played to the hilt in politics, the racial approach to economic development is the rule of the day with resources channelled not according to economic needs but based upon race-based policies, there may indeed be little light at the end of the tunnel towards establishing a united nation of people with a shared sense of duty and destiny,” she said.

She stressed that escalation of acrimony and hostilities between communal groups — ethnic and or religious — will result in conflicts which may possibly lead to state failure. 

“A failed state is when a sovereign government no longer functions properly due to societal collapse or the failure of state institutions,” said Soo.