PETALING JAYA: DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today questioned whether when deciding to vote either for or against the budget next year, Umno MPs would break into two factions.
He noted that while Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had previously stated that all 43 BN MPs would pledge their support for the 2021 Budget.
This did not prevent Umno Vice-President Khaled Nordin from announcing yesterday that MPs should support, reject or abstain from voting on the conscience-based budget.
“Khaled suggested that during the vote on the Budget 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat, they should be allowed to break ranks with their party if they disagreed with the fiscal document,” Lim said in a statement today.
“So will the 38 Umno MPs be divided into two groups, one of which will vote against the 2021 Budget and overthrow Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister?”
The Iskandar Puteri MP also pointed out that when determining which way to vote, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had also called on MPs to think about the needs of their constituents and not merely adhere to party orders.
Lim said this led to BN Secretary-General Annuar Musa dismissing the remarks of Tengku Razaleigh as his “personal view,” continuing to give Umno MPs a warning that those thinking of voting against the party line risked electoral consequences.
Lim also noted that in his maiden speech as the new chairman of the Barisan Nasional (BN) Backbenchers’ Club, former prime minister Najib Razak had only expressed conditional support for next year’s budget.
In Parliament, the Perikatan Nasional coalition has a slim majority and there has been talk that on Thursday, they would vote against the budget.
A vote against the budget may lead to snap polls for the nation, which is in the midst of fighting an increase in cases involving Covid-19, said to be a direct result of the Sabah elections on 26 Sept.