ZAFRUL FAST BECOMING THE NEXT BIGGEST LIAR? DON’T LISTEN TO THE THREATS – YOU’LL STILL GET PAID EVEN IF MUHYIDDIN’S BUDGET GETS THROWN OUT – MAHATHIR’S LAWYER TELLS CIVIL SERVANTS, HEALTH WORKERS – EVEN AS ANWAR CHIDES MUHYIDDIN’S ‘INSIPID’ GREENHORN FINANCE MINISTER

Civil servants can still be paid even if Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin loses the vote on Budget 2021, said lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla.

Speaking to Jom Channel yesterday, Haniff  explained that MPs have an obligation to vote down the budget if their proposals were not accepted and the aspirations of their constituents were not fulfilled.

Should Muhyiddin lose the vote, he explained, it would mean he no longer commanded the support of the House, therefore compelling the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint a new prime minister and cabinet, which would have to table a new budget immediately.

He said that the new government could table a budget for just the first quarter, which would cover essentials such as paying for salaries and funds needed to battle Covid-19, pending a proper budget for the year, pointing to Article 102 of the Federal Constitution.

Article 102 stipulates that under circumstances of “unusual urgency”, Parliament can authorise expenditure for a “part of the year” budget until a supply bill is formally passed.

“Hence the public should not think that if the MPs vote down the budget, should their proposals be rejected, they are not prioritising the country,” Haniff added.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz warned that salaries for civil servants, health workers, and cash handouts would be stalled unless Budget 2021 was approved.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim regarded Zafrul’s statement as a threat and an attempt to sidestep suggestions by “the majority” in the House regarding Budget 2021.

At the moment, there is no certainty that Muhyiddin commands the majority support of MPs. In July, Muhyiddin proved he had the backing of 113 MPs, at most.

Anwar: Zafrul deflecting concerns of MPs in the ‘majority’

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today accused Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz of embarking on a campaign to deflect the concerns held by the “majority” of MPs on Budget 2021.

This was in reference to Zafrul’s claim yesterday that the government will be unable to pay salaries of civil servants and frontliners if Budget 2021 was not passed by the Dewan Rakyat.

In a statement today, Anwar, who had sought amendments to the budget in his opposition leader’s speech on Monday, said Zafrul’s statement sounded like a threat.

“I think his statement was insipid and sounded like a threat. It appears to be part of a plan to sideline the voice of the majority of MPs.

Anwar said his speech on Monday had stated that civil servant salaries, operating expenditure and allocation for frontliners will be supported by the opposition.

“I repeat my call for the government to review Budget 2021. The opposition will only support it if the budget was really meant to deal with Covid-19,” he added.

The Dewan Rakyat will vote on the Supply Bill (Budget) 2021 on Nov 25 at the policy stage.

Once the bill passes this stage, it will go through the committee stage where MPs will scrutinise the allocations for each federal government ministry.

At that point, it is possible for MPs to vote down allocations for specific ministries.

For the first time in history, Malaysia is facing uncertainties on whether a supply bill would be passed as Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has proven that he only commanded the support of 113 MPs, at most, during the July sitting of Parliament.

Although the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had advised all MPs to support Budget 2021, opposition MPs and even a backbencher had been critical of the details during the debates over the past week.

MKINI

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