KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The Dewan Rakyat today approved budget allocations for the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, inclusive of an additional RM200 million allocation for the Tourism Recovery Plan, through a bloc vote.
The ruling bloc had once again trumped the Opposition bloc with 109 supporting and 96 against, while 15 MPs were absent.
The bloc vote was initiated by Opposition MPs when the voice vote called by Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon could not offer a clear distinction between the MPs who were for and those who were against the ministry’s budget allocations.
This is the fifteenth ministry budget allocation approved by the Dewan Rakyat either through a voice vote or bloc vote.
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz when tabling Budget 2021 last month announced several allocations for the tourism sector, including RM50 million for maintenance and the repair of tourism facilities nationwide in addition to the Grant Khas Prihatin of RM1,000 for traders and hawkers in Sabah who were affected by the drop in tourist arrivals due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri has also described the budget allocation as one that was inclusive.
Industry players such as The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) however remain skeptical that Budget 2021 allocations which were passed in Parliament would help revitalise the country's severely hit tourism industry and ensure job security amid the Covid-19 pandemic.