PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today disclosed that yesterday in the Dewan Rakyat, PH party leaders Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu were keen to press for a bloc vote on Budget 2021. However Anwar asked to against bloc voting.
Anwar said in a statement that the change was to allow MPs to scrutinise the budget in depth. He also add that MPs were entitled to challenge the new changes to the budget and whether any cuts were made.
It added that this included the effect of the budget on the finances of the government, the taxi drivers, the canteen operators and the methods used to withdraw from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
“The financial institutions’ loan moratorium also needs to be examined,” Anwar said.
He claimed that the opposition still had the ability to make a stand on the budget. It includes a bloc vote at the committee level during the second vote on the budget.
Anwar was widely anticipated yesterday to get opposition MPs to vote against the bill. However, only 13 MPs stood up to demand a block vote, when the procedure needs at least 15.
The Port Dickson MP, Anwar, added that there was an extraordinary attempt yesterday to make multiple federal budget amendments. I need to mention that the budget has never been changed in such a way in the history of the Malaysian parliament. This is a symbol of the willingness of Perikatan Nasional to do anything to remain in power,” he added.
In winding up yesterday’s budget debate, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz declared that there will be an immediate moratorium on repayment of loans for individuals in the B40 category and for SMEs, whereas those in the M40 category will only be needed to make a self-declaration without any paperwork to extend their moratorium.
The Minister also announced that the i-Sinar programme of the EPF would be extended to include all donors experiencing income losses, with a withdrawal cap of RM10,000 being increased.
For the committee process of the budget discussion, the Dewan Rakyat resumes on Monday. Voting is expected to be held on Dec 15.
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