Bersatu ally Umno appeared to be divided over which way to vote when the supply bill for the budget comes up for a second reading next week, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.
He said that while Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had stated that all 43 Barisan Nasional MPs would support the budget, vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin had indicated otherwise.
“Khaled said yesterday that MPs should support, reject or abstain from the vote on the 2021 Budget based on their ‘conscience’,” Lim said in a statement today
“He suggested that Umno MPs should be allowed to break ranks during the budget vote in the Dewan Rakyat if they disagreed with the fiscal document.”
Parliament will vote on Budget 2021 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Lim said new BN Backbenchers’ Club chairman Najib Razak had expressed yet another view on how the coalition’s vote would swing.
Najib had said that BN’s support was conditional upon demand for changes to the draft bill being met.
Perikatan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club chair Shahidan Kassim had subsequently declared that anyone who rejected the bill was a “traitor” to the people who wished for the budget to be passed.
Shahidan, however, denied that he was referring to Najib in his speech in parliament. Shahidan said the traitor remark was instead directed at former health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.
Lim said today that Shahidan had posted on Facebook about the rumours he had heard that Najib, Zahid and Umno advisory council chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would reject the budget.
Tengku Razaleigh had advised the MPs on his side not to vote along party lines but in their interest of their constituents, Lim said.
But Umno Supreme Council member Annuar Musa had dismissed the advice as being Tengku Razaleigh’s “personal view”, warning that those who disobeyed the party orders risked “electoral consequence”, Lim said.
And then there was Zahid, Lim said, who had called on the government to allow a motion of confidence in the prime minister.
“So will one faction vote against the budget during the second reading on Thursday and topple the Perikatan Nasional government?” Lim asked. – TMI