Thursday, March 4, 2021

Anwar gave last-minute memo to PH MPs after Najib backed out of budget threat

The word-of-mouth message however did not reach Amanah MPs, most of whom stood up to call for a bloc vote.

Other News

Ban on full facial coverings to be put to vote in Switzerland

The ban would mean that nobody could cover their face completely in public – whether in shops or the open countryside, although exceptions will be made for places of worship.

Jerman longgar peraturan sekatan Covid-19

Jerman benarkan pertemuan ahli dua buah rumah termasuk kanak-kanak.

Residents question silence from elected reps over revival of axed highway

Most have not responded to concerns about the PJD Link, which critics say will displace long-time residents and businesses and increase noise pollution along with other environmental and health hazards.

Penduduk persoal Adun senyap isu lebuh raya PJD Link

Projek PJD Link dilihat sebagai usaha menghidupkan semula Kidex yang sebelum ini telah dibatalkan kerajaan negeri.

Australia extends international flight ban for 3 more months

Anyone hoping to enter Australia will have longer to wait as arrivals are limited to the capacity of mandatory quarantine hotels.

A last-minute instruction by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to his Pakatan Harapan (PH) comrades saw MPs from PKR and DAP sitting out a call for a bloc vote on the 2021 budget, which was easily passed by voice vote.

A PKR insider told MalaysiaNow that the task of spreading the message was given to the party’s chief whip Johari Abdul, the Sungai Petani MP.

“The message made the rounds in the House by word of mouth. Unfortunately, not everyone received it in time,” the source said.

It is learnt that Anwar’s instruction to the MPs was due to former prime minister Najib Razak backing out of his threat to scuttle the budget.

Anwar however later told reporters that the decision to avoid a bloc vote was not due to a lack of numbers on his side.

He also accused the Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun of being “blatantly biased”, saying MPs were not given the opportunity to air their views during Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz’s winding-up speech.

During the budget debate which took place over the past two weeks, Najib had echoed Anwar in saying that his vote would be contingent on several amendments to the budget.

“The message made the rounds in the House by word of mouth. Unfortunately, not everyone received it in time.”

There was also speculation that Najib and at least four MPs from Umno would break ranks with their colleagues to vote against the budget.

After Zafrul’s speech today, Azhar urged MPs who wanted a bloc vote to stand up.

Only 13 did so, two MPs short of the minimum 15 needed for a bloc vote to take place.

A bloc vote would have required each MP to individually vote before the budget could be passed.

A check revealed that most Amanah’s MPs stood to call for a bloc vote, but not its top two leaders – president Mohamad Sabu and deputy president Salahuddin Ayub.

The Amanah MPs who stood up were joined by Dr Mahathir Mohamad and three others from his bloc.

Abu Bakar Mohd Rashid, a close confidante of Mohamad, claimed that the Amanah president had been about to stand up when he was stopped by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

“Lim pulled his hand, and he sat down. When Salahuddin saw this, he too decided not to stand up,” Abu Bakar told MalaysiaNow in remarks which he also shared on his Facebook.

Anger within PH

Meanwhile, PH supporters, angered over opposition bigwigs’ refusal to call for a bloc vote, took to social media to question the decision.

“An explanation is in order. We owe the people this,” Syahredzan Johan, a close aide of DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, said on his Twitter account.

“I know what happened but I don’t why it happened. Sorry, friends,” he added.

“Dont waste your time explaining cos I’m not going to waste mine reading,” said an opposition supporter in response. “The opposition can’t even get 15 fellas to stand. What more can the rakyat hope for?”

An aide to a former deputy minister meanwhile posted a sarcastic tweet, believed to be targeting Anwar’s supporters who claim that the PKR leader has enough support to topple the government.

“So much for being formidable lah,” said Izmil Amri.

The vote on the budget today had been keenly awaited as any failure to pass the bill at the policy stage could mean the collapse of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government and pandemic-season polls which health authorities have warned against.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Minister tells why Parliament won’t be convening

Law minister Takiyuddin Hassan says this has to do with the government's focus on battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Move by Sarawak MP to ditch PKR ‘a message to Anwar’, says analyst

The exit of Julau MP Larry Sng is also seen as a signal to Umno ahead of any move to reconvene Parliament.

Ada apa dengan Amanah? Dari kekuasaan ke survival parti

Amanah kini berdepan badai pertelingkahan politik sesama parti gabungan Pakatan Harapan.

Whither Amanah? After power comes survival

After its heyday as part of the federal government, the PAS splinter party may have ignored the writing on the wall.

Rise of ‘underdog’ Muhyiddin puts to rest debate on ‘Mahathir or Anwar’, says analyst

With the opposition in disarray, the prime minister's brand may just work in the next polls.