PAS leader accuses federal lawmakers who rejected Budget 2021 of defying Agong

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz speaks during the winding-up debate on the Supply Bill 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat today, November 26, 2020. ― Bernama pic
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz speaks during the winding-up debate on the Supply Bill 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat today, November 26, 2020. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 ― The parliamentarians who tried to force a bloc vote on Budget 2021 disobeyed a decree from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, the PAS information chief said today.

Kamaruzaman Mohammad claimed the move showed the federal lawmakers’ disregard for the interest of the people and country as they prioritised their political interests amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“His Majesty in his decree had advised and stressed the need for federal lawmakers to support Budget 2021 for the sake of the welfare of the people and the wellness of the nation.

“Yet, inappropriate actions have been portrayed by several MPs from the Opposition in displaying their defiance towards His Majesty’s decree during the voting session,” he said in a statement here.

Kamaruzaman also said his party expressed its gratitude to all MPs who collectively agreed to provisionally approve Budget 2021.

Yesterday, Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) inaugural Budget 2021 passed the policy stage in the Dewan Rakyat with a voice vote after fewer than the 15 lawmakers needed to force bloc-voting rose to make their rejection known.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim explained after the sitting that he urged the Opposition not to block Budget 2021 at the policy stage to avoid being seen as the ones preventing Malaysians from receiving the assistance measures proposed within.

Yesterday, just 13 Opposition MPs including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu stood up to try and force a bloc vote.

Prior to the vote, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz announced several concessions to demands from both sides of the divide including extending the loan moratorium for all B40 income earners and small businesses as well as allowing eight million EPF contributors to withdraw up to RM10,000 from their Account 1 in one lump sum instead of RM6,000 over 12 months.

This allowed Budget 2021 to be approved via a voice vote despite shouts from lawmakers ostensibly rejecting the federal spending plan.

Voting in Budget 2021 had come under extreme scrutiny as there was an expectation that it could be rejected.

By convention, a rejection of the federal Budget is considered a successful vote of no-confidence against the ruling party and should be met by the resignation of the entire Cabinet.

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