Azalina: Confidence, Supply Deal Not Needed

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A confidence and supply agreement (CSA) with the opposition is not necessary for Malaysia as Perikatan Nasional (PN) has the numbers to ensure Budget 2021 is passed in Dewan Rakyat, said Azalina Othman Said.

Unlike other countries that have CSAs, the Pengerang MP said if Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin pushes for the agreement, it would mean he does not have faith in fellow coalition partners.

“In conclusion, the use of CSA is only necessary when the government believes that the Supply Bill is at risk of not securing the necessary support from its partners.

Seth Akmal/TMI

“Unlike the examples given (New Zealand, Australia and UK), Malaysia is already governed by a coalition,” she said in a statement today.

PN has 113 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.

But recent tensions between Umno and Muhyiddin’s Bersatu has left the prime minister looking for support from the opposition to secure passage of Budget 2021.

A CSA is an arrangement in a hung parliament in which an opposition party agrees not to vote against a minority government in votes of confidence or budgetary matters in return for concessions but reserves the right to oppose other legislation.

Several members of the opposition including DAP’s Liew Chin Tong and Muda’s Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman have been pushing for the CSA to be signed ahead of the Budget 2021 voting this session.

Among the demands rumoured to be part of the CSA includes equal allocation for all parliamentarians, which amounts to about RM3.8 million.

Azalina, who is deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker, also demanded full disclosure on the CSA if there was any between the government and opposition

“Hence, it begs the question of why a CSA is relevant at this point? Without full disclosure or certainties of the elements entailed in the CSA agreement being offered, any attempt towards this effort may raise more questions than answers,” the Umno Supreme Council member said.

Sources told The Malaysian Insight that the PN government had initiated talks for a CSA since the start of October ahead of the budget, worried that it might be voted down.

A source said the plan was to sell the budget to the MPs as a “unity budget” to “fight the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The Agong earlier last week advised all politicians to support Budget 2021 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the funds are crucial for medical supplies and front-liners.

Muhyiddin on Saturday also urged all political parties to put aside their differences and come together to vote for the budget to fight the pandemic. – TMI