Warisan whip says MPs sat out Budget 2021 bloc vote to show Anwar, Pakatan they’re no pushovers

Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli addresses a press conference in Labuan December 11, 2019. — Bernama pic
Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli addresses a press conference in Labuan December 11, 2019. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Parti Warisan Sabah has been aligned with Pakatan Harapan (PH) on many things at the federal level until today, when its MPs chose to absent themselves in the Dewan Rakyat during two key votes on the Budget 2021 Supply Bill.

Its whip Rozman Isli said their absence was deliberate, to send a signal to Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition that a new leadership is desired, Malaysiakini reported.

“We are tired of what is going on with the Opposition bloc. And so, for now, the decision is we don't want to join the bloc vote,” the Labuan MP was quoted saying.

He indicated that Warisan MPs will continue to sit out voting until they decide otherwise.

Rozman said Warisan in general is unhappy with the infighting among its allies that resulted in PH’s collapse as government in February.

He said Anwar’s last-minute decision to support Perikatan Nasional’s Budget 2021 during voting last Thursday without discussing it properly with all Opposition MPs added to their discontent.

“Without making this kind of statement, it looks like our Opposition does not realise there is a need for firm decisions.

“Like what happened last Thursday, we were given last-minute notice and all that. It is frustrating.

“We are still in the Opposition bloc but we want to send a signal to our Opposition leadership that we don't want to be pushed around and I don't think they are doing the right strategy [or] the right moves,” Rozman was quoted saying further.

Several MPs were absent twice during bloc voting today on the expenditure Bills, first for the Prime Minister’s Department, and again for the Ministry of Finance under Budget 2021.

The Bills were passed with 105 ayes on the first one and 107 votes for in the second. The Opposition had only 95 votes in both counts.

Warisan contributes a total of eight MPs to PH’s lawmaker tally comprising of Rozman, former Sabah Chief Minister and Semporna MP Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Penampang MP Datuk Darell Leiking, and former deputy energy, science, technology, environment and climate change minister and Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Fakharudy.

Completing the list of Warisan MPs are former deputy home minister and Sepanggar MP Datuk Azis Jamman, former tourism and culture minister and Lahad Datu MP Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, Kalabakan MP Ma’mun Sulaiman, and Papar MP Ahmad Hassan.

Rozman joined Warisan in 2018 after defecting from Umno.

He said Warisan is acting this way in hopes PH will realise the need of a “new leadership” in the Opposition if it were to stand a strong chance to win back Putrajaya in the next general election.

“Without a clear direction [and] without a clear unity, I don't think we would be able to compete in the next general election.

“So, before we face the real battle, we have to give some signal, [make] some moves to make sure everybody in the Opposition starts to realise there is a need of a strong leadership in the Opposition bloc.

“We are tired of the infighting and probably we would need new leadership. There are many young leaders, be it in PKR, or any other party,” Rozman was quoted saying.


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