Perikatan MPs bemoan lack of Opposition funding in Budget 2023
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Perikatan Nasional (PN) lawmakers criticised the government over the revised Budget 2023 tabled today for lacking specific measures for the Opposition.
Arau lawmaker Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was being unfair for allegedly side-lining the Opposition in the federal spending plan.
“There is nothing for the Opposition. We are representatives of the people. In other countries, the Opposition is given allocations.
“If they want to punish the Opposition, the government should just do away with the Opposition. We are not asking for pocket money, but money for the people,” he said during a press conference after the tabling today.
Echoing Shahidan, Machang MP Wan Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said that he did not expect Anwar to shut the Opposition out in terms of funding.
“As a reformist, Anwar Ibrahim should be fair in this matter. Even in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto it said equal allocation for all MPs, but there was nothing (announced),” he said.
Earlier today, Anwar announced a revised Budget 2023 with a total of RM388.1 billion, higher than the version his predecessor Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob tabled last year but which was never passed.
Earlier this month, PN parliamentary whip Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan had also pressed Anwar to guarantee equal allocations for Opposition lawmakers, saying this was contained in the PH manifesto.
Prior to that, Anwar announced that the annual development allocation for backbencher MPs would be reduced as the country’s economy was still recovering.
He said the allocations would be increased once the economy improves, but would still be coordinated by district officers and state economic development officers to ensure the implementation of important projects.