Saturday, February 27, 2021

Pressure grows in Amanah over ‘one man’s decision’ on budget vote

Amanah's women's wing says they were never taught to fight for the interest of individuals.

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Pressure is growing from Amanah members incensed over a last-minute instruction to the opposition bloc to stand down from rejecting the 2021 budget last week, with the party’s women’s wing today urging its top leaders to explain.

Raj Munni Sabu, an Amanah senator who heads the women’s wing, also warned the party’s president and deputy president that they must not cave in to a single individual’s decision on a serious issue such as the budget.

“We do not want repetitive excuses seen to protect or place the decision of one man regarding a huge and crucial matter higher than the collective decision of the organisation.

“We’ve never been taught to fight for the interest of any individuals, not even for our own,” she said in a statement.

Several Amanah MPs were among 13 who stood up in support of a bloc vote on the budget which would have seen individual MPs voting without allowing it an easy pass through voice vote.

Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and his deputy Salahuddin Ayub were among senior leaders who did not stand up.

The budget approval last week saw Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin surviving what was tantamount to a confidence vote for him after weeks of threats from Pakatan Harapan leaders to block the budget.

MalaysiaNow reported last week that PH MPs were told at the last minute by the coalition’s chairman Anwar Ibrahim not to call for a bloc vote.

The move sparked strong reactions among PH supporters, with many taking to social media to vent their anger against the coalition.

Some PH leaders have since defended their action, saying it was part of the coalition’s strategy.

But Raj Munni, better known as Aiman Athirah, said such an excuse was not acceptable.

She also called for a return to “equal partnership and smart leadership”.

“Repetitive failures must not be masked with words such as ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’,” she added.

It is learnt that several Amanah Youth leaders at the divisional level have been warned by the party against criticising Anwar’s instruction to MPs.

Aiman said the criticism of PH supporters should be taken seriously, adding that the failure of PH MPs to oppose the budget last week was “shocking and should never have happened”.

“Therefore, we want to state our solidarity with the people from all walks of life who are also rocked with questions, criticisms and doubts – is PH truly a ‘Coalition of Hope’ worth hoping for,” she said.

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