Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today revealed that Pakatan Harapan party leaders Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu had been keen to push for a bloc vote on Budget 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday but that he had requested against it.
In a statement, Anwar said the move was to allow MPs to scrutinise the budget in detail, adding that MPs had the right to question the budget’s new amendments and if any cuts were made.
He added that this included the impact of the budget on the country’s finances, on taxi drivers, canteen operators, and the mechanisms used to withdraw from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
“The loan moratorium from financial institutions also needs to be looked into,” Anwar said.
He said the opposition still had the opportunity to make a stand on the budget, including a bloc vote during the second vote on the budget at the committee stage.
Anwar added that yesterday there was an unprecedented move to make several amendments to the federal budget.
“I need to state that in the history of the Malaysian Parliament, the budget has never been amended in such a way. This is a sign of Perikatan Nasional’s readiness to do anything to stay in power,” he added.
“But for the Malaysians who have lost their jobs and for those getting additional allocations such as Sabah, fishermen, farmers and Covid-19 front liners, they will be pleased with yesterday’s announcement.”