KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun can still save the Budget 2021 Bill if he allows the tabling of a no-confidence motion in the coming Parliament session, former newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said.
Kadir said a vote against the Budget Bill is not unprecedented, and surely members of Parliament can differentiate between the importance of the Budget and the no-confidence motion.
“In 2018, the Opposition bloc led by Barisan Nasional (BN) voted against the Budget 2019 Bill as reported by Umno Online.
“The difference is, at the time, we had a legitimate government that was chosen by the people through a general election.
“In the end, the Budget 2019 Bill was passed with a parliamentary majority, as was the Budget 2020 Bill,” he wrote in a Facebook post today.
But there is a difference between then and now, he said, because the government of the day is weak and unstable because it was not chosen by the people.
In 2018, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as Opposition leader, led the Opposition bloc in rejecting Budget 2019 when it was announced by then finance minister Lim Guan Eng, deeming it a Budget that did not address the needs of all strata of society.
Kadir added that as of now, MPs’ apparent infighting is seen as part of the power tussle between Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over who should be prime minister.
“We shouldn’t be surprised if their self-interests supersede the people’s needs.
“At the same time, if Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak are willing to go behind Umno’s back to voice their support for Anwar, we can only imagine what kind of deals are being drawn up behind closed doors,” he added.
However, all this, Kadir said, would be meaningless if the Budget 2021 Bill is not passed.
“Without the Budget, our country will go bankrupt and the people’s representatives will not get their salaries,” he said.
On the heels of the political tussle between Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had yesterday advised members of Parliament to fully support the 2021 Budget for the sake of harmony, the rakyat’s livelihoods and economic recovery, all of which have suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prior to this call, prominent veteran politicians such as Umno’s Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had urged the Dewan Rakyat Speaker to allow the no-confidence motion to be tabled in the November Parliament sitting.
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