Hulu Langat MP Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus said regardless of whether parliamentarians had stood up to call for division voting on Budget 2021, or if they did not, everyone still had their say on the bill.
“If there were enough people (calling for division voting), then division voting will be carried out. If there weren’t enough, all the MPs had also 'shouted' out their views.
“For me, whoever sat down, who did not stand up with the 13 parliamentarians, there is no shame in that.
“For those who stood up to call for division voting, there is nothing special about it either. Every Malaysian MP has their own values, freedom of thought, and choice,” said the Amanah lawmaker in a statement last night.
Hasanuddin (above) acknowledged that it was “very uncomfortable” to let policymakers make a big decision by merely a voice vote.
However, he said he already guessed how the MPs would vote, especially after hearing the voices of assent being louder than those dissenting.
During the vote on Budget 2021's policy stage last Thursday, Amanah’s Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar had stood up to call for division voting, where every MP’s vote would be counted individually, as opposed to a voice vote.
A total of 15 MPs were required to consent to divisional voting but only 13 stood up to indicate their consent. They included a number from Amanah, Pejuang, and others. Hasanuddin was one of the 13 MPs who stood up.
Budget 2021 thus passed its policy stage via a voice vote. It is set to enter the committee stage of debates tomorrow (Nov 30) before going for a third reading in the Dewan Rakyat.
Opposition MPs who did not stand up to call for division voting had been criticised for not putting up a fight against the budget but some have explained that there is still another vote at the third reading.
Meanwhile, Hasanuddin said he was grateful for the responses of every ministry after listening to their policy stage debates on the budget.
But he felt as if Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz (photo) had tabled an entirely new budget during his winding-up speech last Thursday.
He said the speech included promises to increase allocations without mentioning where the money would come from, a promise to reduce Jasa’s allocation without mentioning by how much, and that there were no answers regarding any addition or cuts from ministries.
"The finance minister’s winding-up speech is not a broadcast or explanation in a kampung. We need facts and figures.
"These new promises from the finance minister were what we asked for the rakyat, but let it go through a proper process and not just through the cheers and applause of parliamentarians.
"We are responsible to ensure the country is not exposed to wastage, leakages, and unreasonable debt like what happened to the 1MDB case. These are among the examples where caution should be taken," he said.
He warned that carelessness in approving the budget without due process will expose Malaysia to the risk of becoming bankrupt.