KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Budget 2023 sailed through the policy stage via a voice vote at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Parliament Speaker Datuk Seri Johari Abdul called the vote on the Supply Bill 2023 after a winding-up speech from Anwar, who is also the finance minister.
Johari then declared the Bill to have been approved with voice vote after government lawmakers clearly made themselves heard over their Opposition counterparts, who were few in number as most went to support Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Budget 2023 will now head to the committee stage for the approval of the individual ministry allocations.
Budget 2023 will allocate a total of RM388.1 billion, with RM289.1 billion for operating expenses, and RM99 billion for development spending, including RM2 billion for contingencies.
The previous government of the prime minister then, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, had tabled its Budget 2023 on October 7, but it was never approved as Parliament was dissolved three days later.
This forced Anwar’s government to table a fresh one soon after coming to power in the 15th general election.
On December 20 last year, Anwar tabled a “mini-budget” through the Consolidated Fund (Expenditure Entering Account) Bill 2022 to give the government RM107.72 billion and ensure no services were disrupted until Budget 2023 was passed.
It covered, among other things, the payment of civil servants' salaries, utilities, scholarships, welfare assistance as well as education and health services, in addition to allocations to ensure ongoing projects continue.
In addition to the Ministry of Finance, 11 other ministries also wound up today, namely the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development; Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change; Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives; Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Apart from those ministries, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Ministry of Communications and Digital; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Human Resources and Ministry of Health also winded up their speech.