Opposition loses third bloc vote, allows two budgets to pass with voice vote

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Opposition loses third bloc vote, allows two budgets to pass with voice vote
Opposition loses third bloc vote, allows two budgets to pass with voice vote

PARLIAMENT | The opposition has lost its third bloc vote during the committee stage debate on Budget 2021 at the Dewan Rakyat today.

The Plantations Industries and Commodities Ministry's allocation was passed with 108 for and 95 against. Seventeen MPs were absent.

Earlier, the government had passed the budgets for two other ministries' - national unity and foreign affairs - with a voice vote.

The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry's budget is RM729.39 million, the National Unity Ministry's is at RM423.28 million and the Foreign Affairs Ministry's allocation is RM777.91 million.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) scored two victories in bloc votes yesterday, which were called after debates for allocations under the Prime Minister's Department and the Finance Ministry were done.

There are 22 ministries to go before Budget 2021 can be brought to the third and final reading and passed in the Dewan Rakyat and then brought to the Senate.

Warisan had said that it will not partake in bloc votes due to dissatisfaction with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The Sabah party is pushing for new opposition leadership.

Pakatan Harapan MPs have told Malaysiakini that Anwar had promised to resign as opposition leader should he fail to prove that he has a majority by this week. Anwar's office, however, denied this.

Previously, Umno sent signals that it may withhold support for the budget.

However, this changed when some of the party's demands were met by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz last week.

This included expanding the number of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors who can withdraw from their Account 1.

Umno's Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah remains the sole holdout, refusing to vote on the budget, in protest of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's leadership.