Thursday, March 4, 2021

Agong welcomes politicians’ spirit of consensus ahead of budget

He hopes Putrajaya will also refine every proposal submitted to the government on the budget so that it becomes 'inclusive and comprehensive'.

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The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has welcomed the “spirit of bipartisanship and consensus” shown by political parties across the divide, in yet another statement by Istana Negara today to remind MPs of the importance of passing the 2021 Budget to be tabled this week.

A statement released by the palace said Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah also hoped Putrajaya would further refine every proposal submitted to the government on the budget so that it becomes “inclusive and comprehensive” and centred on the people’s welfare and economic recovery.

The Agong earlier heard a briefing on the budget by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and treasury secretary-general Asri Hamidon, in an audience which lasted more than an hour.

“His Majesty was also briefed on the finance ministry’s efforts on the 2021 Budget since July 2020, involving 40 sessions and the participation of 2,000 individuals and business representatives,” said the statement released by the palace.

Sultan Abdullah’s statement today is his third in less than two weeks on the importance of ignoring political rivalries to ensure that the budget this Friday, the first since Covid-19 ravaged Malaysia’s economy, will be passed with the support of all blocs.

There have been fears that any move to derail the budget would see the collapse of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government and trigger snap polls, a scenario that heath ministry officials have warned could spark Covid-19 clusters nationwide.

Last month, the king announced that he would not use his powers to declare an emergency to stop elections, but warned MPs in the Dewan Rakyat against any attempt to scuttle the budget bill.

“His Majesty would like to remind politicians to immediately cease all politicking that will disrupt the stability of the nation’s administration,” said a royal statement on Oct 25.

Three days later, the Agong again warned MPs against politicking ahead of the budget, saying the financial allocations were crucial to restoring the economy.

“His Majesty reminds MPs that political quarrels for the sake of personal interests will only harm the country and lead to the people falling victim at a time when the entire nation is battling the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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