Amanah MPs stood up to push for a bloc vote on the budget yesterday because they did not receive opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s message to allow it to pass at the policy stage, said Sepang MP Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.
In a Facebook post, Hanipa gave his side of the story on what transpired in Parliament, when the majority of opposition MPs had opted against an individual vote for the passage of the budget.
Hanipa said Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and vice-president Mujahid Yusof did not stand out of respect for Anwar’s instructions and in the spirit of solidarity for Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“The Amanah president, we believe, might not have had the time or overlooked passing on the opposition leader’s message to Amanah MPs.
“Therefore, for Amanah MPs, we were confident there was no problem in standing up in support of Pokok Sena (Mahfuz Omar) yesterday,” he said, adding that it was a “spontaneous action”.
Despite the budget being passed at the policy stage, Hanipa said, the government was not “out of the woods yet” as there were still the debates at the committee stage, which will take place from Monday.
“In terms of procedure, the passing of the budget is determined by the third reading of the Supply Bill (2021). That day, God willing, will be ‘the grand finale’,” Hanipa said.
The budget was passed through a voice vote after Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz tabled it for a second reading. Hanipa was one of the 13 MPs who stood up.
Source : FMT
Anwar gave last-minute memo to PH MPs after Najib backed out of budget threat
A last-minute instruction by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to his Pakatan Harapan (PH) comrades saw MPs from PKR and DAP sitting out a call for a bloc vote on the 2021 budget, which was easily passed by voice vote.
A PKR insider told MalaysiaNow that the task of spreading the message was given to the party’s chief whip Johari Abdul, the Sungai Petani MP.
“The message made the rounds in the House by word of mouth. Unfortunately, not everyone received it in time,” the source said.
It is learnt that Anwar’s instruction to the MPs was due to former prime minister Najib Razak backing out of his threat to scuttle the budget.
Anwar however later told reporters that the decision to avoid a bloc vote was not due to a lack of numbers on his side.
He also accused the Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun of being “blatantly biased”, saying MPs were not given the opportunity to air their views during Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz’s winding-up speech.
During the budget debate which took place over the past two weeks, Najib had echoed Anwar in saying that his vote would be contingent on several amendments to the budget.
“The message made the rounds in the House by word of mouth. Unfortunately, not everyone received it in time.”
There was also speculation that Najib and at least four MPs from Umno would break ranks with their colleagues to vote against the budget.
After Zafrul’s speech today, Azhar urged MPs who wanted a bloc vote to stand up.
Only 13 did so, two MPs short of the minimum 15 needed for a bloc vote to take place.
Source : Malaysia Now