AS UMNO FIRES CLEAR WARNING SHOTS OVER MUHYIDDIN’S HEAD – PN PARTIES, WITH HADI’S PAS & JEFFREY’S STAR SHOUTING LOUDEST, VOW TO SUPPORT MUHYIDDIN’S ‘BLANK CHEQUE’ BUDGET – EVEN HAVE THE CHEEK TO INSINUATE OEDIENCE TO AGONG’S ‘ROYAL DECREE’

Four Perikatan Nasional component parties have pledged support for Budget 2021.

The four parties – Bersatu, PAS, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) – collectively control 50 seats in the Dewan Rakyat. However, Sapp currently does not have any seats in the House.

In a joint statement signed by the leaders of the four parties, PN said the RM322.5 billion budget included RM4.2 billion to help the rakyat, RM4 billion for frontliners and RM3 billion to create 500,000 jobs.

“These are all manifestations of PN’s commitment and concern for the welfare and happiness of the rakyat, regardless of race and religion, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

PN’s ability to pass Budget 2021 is still in question given that in July and August, the most votes it was able to cast was 111 – exactly half the number of MPs in the Dewan Rakyat.

In recent weeks, there have been attempts at cajoling the opposition to ensure bi-partisan support for Budget 2021.

The first round of voting on Budget 2021 will take place on Nov 23.

In recent weeks, there have been attempts to cajole the opposition into ensuring bipartisan support for Budget 2021.

Just before it was tabled last Friday, BN MPs had uncharacteristically backed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s demand that all MPs be allowed in the chambers to listen to Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s speech.

Anwar, who on recent occasions claimed that it was he who commanded the confidence of most MPs, told Parliament yesterday that Budget 2021 had to be amended if the government expected bipartisan support.

The first round of voting on Budget 2021 will take place on Nov 25. – MKINI

Najib fires warning shot over BN’s support for budget

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Najib Razak today threatens to withdraw support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s budget unless he accedes to the parliamentary group’s demands. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 10, 2020.
The former prime minister also said bulk withdrawals, instead of instalments, must be allowed from Account 1 of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).

Najib, the Pekan MP, was speaking in the Dewan Rakyat today during debates on the budget, which was tabled last Friday.

His speech indicates the trouble Muhyiddin’s government, which only has a two-MP majority, may face in getting the supply bill passed.

“In this matter, BN’s stand is we want the EPF withdrawal of RM10,000 to be a one-off item and the loan moratorium be extended to June 30, 2021.

“My support and the support of BN MPs depend on these two conditions. Hence, our support for Budget 2021 is conditional,” said Najib, who has been appointed BN spokesman for the budget debate.

Under the budget, only RM500 per month can be withdrawn from retirement funds in Account 1 for up to a year, to a maximum of RM6,000.

The controversial move has been criticised but Muhyiddin has said that it ought to be the last resort for those financially challenged because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Najib today said allowing bulk withdrawals of RM10,000 from Account 1 would not hurt government coffers because it will not be reflected in government liabilities or the national deficit.

“This is what I mean by a brave and extraordinary measure for these extraordinary times. The money withdrawn from EPF will also circulate in the economy and eventually be recovered by the government.”

Meanwhile, the blanket moratorium lasted for six months this year until the end of September, after which the government said borrowers would have to discuss arrangements with their banks for a moratorium extension or to restructure loans.

Najib today added that the moratorium should be extended as people would need the funds, since the conditional movement control order was also being extended.

“I also agree with Port Dickson (Anwar Ibrahim) that the moratorium can be extended since banks are reaping huge profits,” he said.

Another proponent of extending the blanket moratorium is BN’s political nemesis, DAP.  THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

MKINI / THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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