Former Federal Territories minister Khalid Abdul Samad today claimed that the Budget 2021 was drafted hastily by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government as they were hoping for an emergency to be declared.
The Shah Alam MP said because the Budget 2021 was drafted in a hurry, it has resulted in many flaws.
“Behind their (PN) minds, there was no need for the Budget Bill to be tabled, because following their plan, they were anticipating an emergency to be declared, so the Budget would not have to be debated and they can go ahead and decide anything they want.
“When the King rejected the proposal for an emergency to be declared, they only had a few days to come up with a Budget which could be tabled,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today during his debate on the Budget 2021 Bill.
A week before Parliament sitting resumed on November 2, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah asked federal lawmakers to extend their support to the PN Budget 2021 when it is tabled.
The Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the Agong was concerned about the state of the economy and the welfare of Malaysians, which was at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The King had also advised lawmakers to stop all political tussles and to instead focus on the welfare of the people and the wellness of the nation, so that the Budget 2021 can be passed without any interruption.
Khalid, however, pointed out that the King’s decree did not tell the MPs to support the Budget 2021 Bill without a debate.
“So, I want to stress that we will reject this Budget if PN has no willpower to amend it (according to the needs of the people),” he said.
Khalid has also accused PN lawmakers of “sleeping on the job”.
He said this was the reason why the PN government has decided to revive the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) which was disbanded when the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition was in office.
“These are the jobs of the lawmakers, people’s representatives.
“Are the PN MPs sleeping and so cannot do their jobs right?” he said when debating the Budget 2021 Bill today.
The former Federal Territories minister added that there are sufficient MPs, assemblymen, residents’ associations and many other agencies that have the same responsibilities as Jasa.
“PN MPs should be doing their jobs and not reviving a unit that contributes nothing (Jasa yang tidak berjasa).
“Jasa hasn’t contributed anything, just as Permata wasn’t contributing anything,” he added.
Permata was the brainchild of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. It aimed to offer early education and childcare for children under four years old, particularly for household income below RM4,000.
However, according to the 2018 Auditor-General’s Report Series 3, the management of the programme failed to reach the optimum level of efficiency as many targets were left unmet.
The A-G cited management weaknesses in the selection of its participants, payment of monthly fees, teachers, infrastructure, learning environment and monitoring.
As for Jasa, it was set up as Barisan Nasional’s propaganda unit, and was dissolved in 2018.
Before it was disbanded, Jasa was allocated RM30 million in the 2018 Budget under Najib’s leadership.
In Budget 2021, the PN government has allocated RM85.5 million to Jasa with the justification that it was necessary to repopulate the unit with qualified staff.