Tuesday, March 2, 2021

No threat to Muhyiddin’s govt after budget passed

The budget bill was unanimously passed for a second reading.

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The Dewan Rakyat today voted to pass the 2021 budget at the policy stage following a winding-up speech by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz announcing a series of increases in allocations for various sectors.

Earlier, there was an attempt by Amanah MP Mahfuz Omar to support a bloc vote, which would see all MPs participating in the vote.

This would require the backing of at least 15 MPs. However, only 12 stood to support the move: Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Langkawi), Mukhriz Mahathir (Jerlun), Amiruddin Hamzah (Kubang Pasu) and Shahruddin Md Salleh (Sri Gading) from Pejuang, and Khalid Samad (Shah Alam), Hanipa Maidin (Sepang), Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parit Buntar), Hatta Ramli (Lumut), Anuar Tahir (Temerloh), Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor), Hasanuddin Yunus (Hulu Langat) and Hasan Bahrom (Tampin) from Amanah.

On Monday, the budget will resume debate at the committee stage.

It will then be tabled for a third reading on Dec 15, where full approval will allow it to be brought for discussion and approval at the Dewan Negara.

The 13 MPs who stood in support of a bloc vote.

The 2021 budget encompassed a total of RM322.5 billion – the country’s largest ever at RM10 billion more than the revised budget for 2020.

Today’s outcome put to rest talk that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s nine-month-old government would collapse following speculation that MPs would reject the budget.

Opposition MPs had previously disputed Muhyiddin’s support in the Dewan Rakyat and repeatedly attempted to push a motion of no confidence against him.

In October, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim announced that he had the majority support, but failed to show details of his claim during an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

The Agong subsequently reminded politicians not to indulge in “politicking”, with several other statements from the palace urging MPs to show unity during the time of the pandemic by supporting the 2021 budget.

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