The opposition’s almost successful bid to vote down Budget 2018 was aided today by six PAS lawmakers.
Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) said besides himself, the five others were Ahmad Marzuk Shaary (Bachok), Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (Dungun), Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad (Pasir Puteh), Izani Husin (Pengkalan Chepa), and Ahmad Baihaki Atiqullah (Kubang Kerian).
“They told me that they voted against because this involved cost of living,” Mahfuz told Malaysiakini.
Pakatan Harapan called for a surprise bloc vote tonight after the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry wound up its portion of Budget 2018, during the committee stage.
The gambit was defeated by a razor-thin margin of 52-51.
Two PAS MPs, Idris Ahmad (Bukit Gantang) and Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (Rantau Panjang) abstained from the vote.
“We lost by one vote. People may think that the two MPs who abstained from voting caused our defeat,” Mahfuz said.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and other top leaders such as Takiyuddin Hassan, Nasrudin Hassan, Nik Abduk Nik Aziz, Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali and party backbencher Che Rosli Che Mat were absent.
In the previous bloc vote on Budget 2018 during the policy stage, 11 PAS MPs, excluding Mahfuz, abstained from the vote.
This has been PAS’ practice when it comes to voting on the federal budget, ever since it parted ways with PKR and DAP.