Parliament Approves Funding for 3 Ministries by Voice Vote

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Parliament approved funding for three more ministries today, without the opposition calling for a division vote.

A total of RM4.79 billion is provided for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, RM10.2 billion for the Ministry of Rural Development, while the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources will receive RM2.1 billion.

It was the first day, since the house started debating Budget 2021 at committee level, that the opposition did not call for a bloc vote.

Funding has now been approved for eight ministries, which will form part of the budget, with finances for 19 more ministries yet to be approved before the Budget 2021 is put to the vote for the third time.

At 2.35pm, Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon called for a vote on the RM2.1 billion allocation for the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, with the majority of MPs supporting.

Minister Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah provided a winding-up speech for the ministry that was free of yesterday’s theatrics.

The government backbenchers’ chief whip Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) also reminded the Opposition repeatedly of his side’s numerical superiority.

“Today, we have 112 people (MPs) but the situation is calm,” he said casually during the start of his debate on the ministry.

When Shahidan repeated the same statement after the ministry’s allocation was passed, Mohamad Sabu (PH-Kota Raja) was heard responding just before the Parliament sitting was postponed until tomorrow morning.

“Arau, don’t provoke us,” Mohamad was heard saying.

Since Monday, the Opposition has consistently topped out at 95 MPs for each of the divisions.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim (Harapan-Port Dickson) and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Independent-Langkawi) were present in Parliament today and participated in the debate.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong gloated over the agriculture ministry vote victory.

He noted that other opposition leaders such as Amanah president Mohamad Sabu (Harapan-Kota Raja), DAP chairperson Tan Kok Wai (Harapan-Cheras) and Mukhriz Mahathir (Independent-Jerlun) were also in the Lower House when the allocation was passed.

“Right after it was passed and there was no bloc vote, Mahathir and Mukhriz immediately left the House. I was confused about seeing it.

“Maybe it is a coincidence? Oh yes, Abang Mat (Sabu) is also quiet today, not shouting at all,” he posted on Facebook, together with two laughing emojis.