KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Budget 2023 will now be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on October 7, three weeks earlier than initially scheduled, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said today.
Wan Junaidi, who is also minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), affirmed the matter when contacted by Malaysiakini.
Wan Junaidi, however, denied any links between the change in sitting date and the rumoured snap general election, which Umno is pushing for to be held this year.
“Yes, it is true. The new session will start on October 3 actually.
“No, there is no discussion on the general election, which is very much still the prerogative of the prime minister (who will) go and seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (to dissolve the Parliament).
“Actually, the Budget session starts in September and sometimes we had our Budget done by September. It’s a bit late to have it by end of October,” Wan Junaidi was quoted as saying.
Wan Junaidi also said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is using the latter’s authority under Rule 11(2) of the Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order to fix the sitting earlier by about 20 days.
This, he said, was after the Cabinet successfully reached a consensus on the proposal to bring forward the next parliamentary sitting, which he had tabled.
“I was the one who tabled the paper for a change of date and timing. As far as I am concerned, we have five outstanding Bills that we tabled for the first reading in the last session and must be completed (by the next session).
“My arrangement is to ensure all the Bills are passed,” he said.
The upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting was initially scheduled to take place between October 28 and December 15.
The current leadership has until September next year to call a general election, but Ismail Sabri is under increasing pressure to hold it sooner following fallouts among members of the ruling parties.
Umno specifically is pressing for polls to be held as early as possible, especially after Barisan Nasional’s landslide victories in state elections and with the Opposition still in disarray.