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.