The Opposition alliance, Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders had a meeting with the Perikatan Nasional government Finance Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz on Sunday (Nov 1). The meeting was set up for the purpose to discuss the Budget 2021 which scheduled to be tabled on Friday (Nov 6).
The meeting was convened following the decision by the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council. The Opposition indicated that they want to initiate a discussion with the government on Budget 2021 before it is tabled in Parliament.
This is to ensure that the budget would receive support from both sides of the political divide and subsequently to be passed in the Parliament.
Representative From Opposition Alliance
Parti Keadilan Rakyat secretary-general, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail represented his party during the meeting with the accompany of three other PKR leaders — Youth Chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, Central Leadership Council Member Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Subang MP Wong Chen.
Besides, the other two political allies in Pakatan Harapan – Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) had appointed their leaders to attend the meeting too.
As for DAP, the former Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, former Deputy Defense Minister, Liew Chin Tong, Tony Pua and Ong Kian Ming represented the party.
Meanwhile, the President of Amanah, Mohamad Sabu and its strategy director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad represented Parti Amanah in the discussion.
Previously, PH Presidential Council had said that the call is in line with the decree issued by the King.
It was learnt that among the matters which raised during the discussion is an extension of the loan moratorium. The meeting also focused on the efforts to revive the economy for the well being of the people.
Six Key Recommendations
After a two-hour engagement with Finance Minister, Pakatan Harapan has outlined six key recommendations for Budget 2021.
In short, the six recommendations are:
1) Increase the Health Ministry’s resources to combat Covid-19 and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCD is a disease that is not transmissible from one person to another such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
2) Expand social protection, safety net, and welfare payments for the vulnerable and unemployed by increasing monthly welfare aid to RM1,000 until the end of the Covid-19 crisis;
3) Extension of the loan moratorium until March 2021;
4) Wage subsidy to be continued till 31st March 2021 and create 600,000 jobs as per Malaysia@Work scheme offering incentives over 2 years for employers and employees costing RM13 billion;
5) Development expenditure on the National Fiberisation Connectivity Plan (NFCP) and upgrading water infrastructure for Selangor, Kelantan and Pahang;
6) Increase in education spending to ensure education continuity.
Muhyiddin’s Urgent Meeting
On the other hand, Perikatan Nasional leaders had a meeting on Sunday too. Based on speculation, the meeting was obviously to ensure supports for Budget 2021.
According to the inside source, not all UMNO MPs are in support of the Budget especially those with court cases. In fact, there are factions within the party pushing for snap general elections.
Previously, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin urged MPs to set aside their political differences to pass the Budget during the upcoming Parliament sitting in his national televised address.
The Perikatan Nasional coalition has a thin majority in Parliament. Hence, there has been intense speculation that MPs might vote against the budget. As a result, it would automatically lead to the resignation of Muhyiddin Yassin. It would also subsequently pave the way for a snap general election.
The Third Meeting of the Third Term of the 14th Dewan Rakyat session will run from Nov 2 to Dec 15.
More Information About:
- PH outlines six recommendations for Unity Budget 2021
- Unity Budget 2021: 6 key recommendations from Pakatan Harapan
- Set aside our differences and approve Budget 2021, Muhyiddin appeals to Opposition MPs