KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 ― The Barisan Nasional (BN) today offered conditional support for the ruling Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Budget 2021 Bill.
BN Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Parliament that its two conditions were for the government to raise the withdrawal limit for Account One in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to RM10,000 and for a blanket extension of the loan moratorium until next June.
“I want to say that this Budget was done in an extraordinary timeframe and if we want to amend the Budget, rationally it should be done because this is an extraordinary time.
“As Bagan Datuk MP has said, we want EPF withdrawals to be increased to RM10,000 and a one-off and moratorium be extended until June 2021,” the Pekan MP said while debating the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.
The Bagan Datuk MP is Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also BN chairman.
“Our support for the Budget 2021 Bill is one with conditions,” Najib stressed.
Najib was responding to fellow colleague and Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan’s supplementary question suggesting that MPs from both sides of the divide agree to support the Budget 2021 Bill but with the inclusion of certain amendments.
Earlier, Ahmad Maslan said there was no point in the MPs speaking tirelessly in the Dewan Rakyat during debates on the Budget 2021 Bill if none of the suggestions are considered for amendments to the Budget.
“From my 10 years of experience here, I’ve not seen the Budget Bill amended, not even a full stop, let alone a sentence.
“So why not, can I suggest that this time, let us do something extraordinary and agree to approve Budget 2021 taking into account certain amendments, let’s say 10 suggestions.
“Can the finance minister in his wind-up speech say that he will agree to the amendments, say 10 (amendments); otherwise, MPs who speak in the Dewan, speaking tirelessly (berbuih mulut) for hours, interrupted and what not, but not even one word of the Budget is amended,” he said referring to Najib’s suggestion that the country is going through extraordinary times and therefore needs extraordinary measures.
He added that good suggestions from both sides should be considered before any amendments to the Budget 2021 Bill are agreed to prior to it being passed in Parliament.