KUCHING, Oct 10 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian today reminded Sarawakians to unite and send a strong team of members of parliament (MPs) from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to the next Dewan Rakyat.

He said the 15th general election (GE15) will let them elect lawmakers who will fight for state’s rights and bigger allocation of funds from the federal government.

“Sarawakians will also have a chance, after 59 years, to fight for what is ours under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), such as health and education autonomy,” he said when responding to the announcement on the dissolution of Parliament by Prime Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob earlier in this afternoon.

Dr Sim, who is also the deputy premier, said Sarawak and Sabah also want the combined number of MP seats to consist one-third of the total number in Parliament.

Separately, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan said holding GE15 now is most inappropriate because people could not come to vote during rainy season.

“Voter turnout would be very low. This would be very undemocratic and a tyranny,” he said.

He said holding GE15 at this point of time showed that the federal government did not care for the people’s welfare and was only interested to stay in power.

“It will be a very unfair election because due to floods and raining season political parties that lack resources and funds could not come out to campaign in full force.

“They would also not be able to bring their supporters to come to voting stations during polling day,” he said, adding that many people who are in overseas also could not come back to vote.

He criticised the ruling GPS coalition for failing to influence the prime minister not to dissolve Parliament at this point of time.

“Has the GPS government have a thought of people in the rural areas affected by the floods during this season?” he asked.

Earlier, Ismail Sabri announced the dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for an early poll that must be held 60 days from now, ignoring appeals from the Opposition and lawmakers from within his own party not to hold the general election until next year as the country prepares to face the annual monsoon floods.

The announcement, while expected, still came as a surprise, given that his administration had just tabled next year’s federal budget last Friday.