Policy Stage of Budget 2021 Passed

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The Dewan Rakyat today approved Budget 2021 at the policy stage.

The budget, the first tabled by the government led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was passed with a majority voice vote.

Budget 2021 was tabled by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on Nov 6 and 82 MPs spoke during the debate from Nov 9 to 19.

The relevant ministers began their wind-up of the debate on Nov 23 before Tengku Zafrul wound up for the Ministry of Finance today.

Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun then called for a voice vote, with both government and Opposition lawmakers making themselves heard without a clear vocal majority.

Azhar then called for those opposing the Bill to stand up and be counted, with a minimum 15 lawmakers needed to oppose for the voice vote to fail.

He later announced to the Lower House that there were insufficient nays, as opposed to ayes, with only 13 lawmakers standing up and accounted for.

“Those opposing are less than 15, and there are more voices who agree with the motion; therefore, the motion is passed.

“The Bill will then be tabled at the committee level on Monday,” he said before today’s session was adjourned.

The result comes after the government announced extra goodies for the budget, including expanding withdrawals from Account 1 of the Employees Provident Fund to those whose incomes had been reduced.

It agreed to allow eight million EPF contributors to withdraw up to RM10,000 from their account 1 in one lump sum instead of RM6,000 across 12 months.

The withdrawal expansion partially met Umno’s demands in exchange for supporting the budget.

The government also agreed to extend the loan moratorium to all B40 income earners and small businesses.

According to the Dewan Rakyat calendar, the budget will be debated at the committee stage for 10 days starting Monday.