The decision by the majority of opposition MPs to opt against an individual vote for the passing of the budget has raised questions, while party leaders and backbenchers seem to be keeping mum on the matter.
Earlier, the opposition lacked the number of MPs needed to agree for a bloc vote, with only 13 out of the minimum 15 representatives needed standing up when Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun asked if there were enough MPs.
Some MPs have identified the 13 who stood up to call for the individual vote as being all 11 MPs from Amanah and two from Pejuang, namely Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Langkawi) and his son Mukhriz (Jerlun).
However, Mahathir’s aide has clarified that all four Pejuang MPs had stood up, including Amiruddin Hamzah and Shahruddin Md Salleh.
Attempts by FMT to contact PKR and DAP MPs were unsuccessful, while text messages sent to some party members did not receive a reply despite being seen.
Calls to Amanah MPs also could not go through, although one leader told FMT that they were in the middle of a meeting.
Other politicians took to social media to vent their disappointment at PKR and DAP’s decision not to stand with their Pakatan Harapan (PH) partner Amanah, with Subang Jaya assemblyman Michelle Ng, from DAP, tweeting, “Explain now.”
DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud said she was sure that PH had their reasons for doing so. “And like you, I also want to hear it.”
Meanwhile, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said it was not true that the budget has been passed as a whole, adding that this was only the policy-level vote.
“There is still the committee level and the third reading,” he said in a Twitter post.
Mukhriz also took to Twitter and posted a veiled dig of sorts, saying, “Better to live on your feet than die on your knees.” – FMT