Najib: BN’s Support of Budget 2021 Is “Conditional”

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Barisan Nasional will not support the 2021 Budget if certain amendments are not done to meet the pact’s demands, BN Backbenchers’ Club (BNBBC) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.

The former prime minister said the demands made were on the extension of loan moratoriums until June 2021 and on the withdrawal of Employees’ Provident Fund’s Account 1 up to RM10,000 maximum.

“This budget was made during an extraordinary time. If needed, I believe it is necessary to make amendments since this is an extraordinary situation.

“BN’s stand, as mentioned by Bagan Datuk (member of parliament Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi), is that we want the RM10,000 one-off EPF withdrawal and for the moratorium to be extended until June 2021.

“My support, along with my colleagues, is subject to these two matters. Our support for this budget is conditional,” he said when debating the 2021 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Najib said the EPF’s non-targeted withdrawal and the extension of the automatic loan moratorium were good measures to inject funds directly into the people’s pockets.

He added the withdrawal from EPF could be managed in the future through the restructuring of contributions so as not to burden the agency.

“We need to inject more funds directly into the hands of the people. After all, this does not involve increasing the government deficit or the national debt,” he said.

Under the budget, only RM500 per month can be withdrawn from retirement funds in Account 1 for up to a year, to a maximum of RM6,000.

The controversial move has been criticised but Muhyiddin has said that it ought to be the last resort for those financially challenged because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the blanket moratorium lasted for six months this year until the end of September, after which the government said borrowers would have to discuss arrangements with their banks for a moratorium extension or to restructure loans.

Another proponent of extending the blanket moratorium is BN’s political nemesis, DAP.