Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman apologised to supporters who felt disappointed over the decision made by a vast majority of opposition MPs in opting against an individual vote for the passing of the 2021 budget at the policy stage yesterday.
“I cannot speak on behalf of the other MPs, but I personally believe, in hindsight, that what happened was wrong and I want to apologise,” he said in an interview with BFM radio today.
Syed Saddiq explained the decision saying there was a last-minute instruction to not push for bloc voting against the budget, which led to confusion among opposition MPs.
“There was a lot of confusion and a lack of direction yesterday.
“This is why, when they named the 13 MPs, the list kept changing because many stood up but then proceeded to sit down again.”
He still believed the opposition parties should have opted for bloc voting.
“Even if we lose, it is still our duty to vote,” he said.
Syed Saddiq hoped opposition MPs will be more coordinated at the committee stage debate on the budget from Monday.
“We need to make sure this is not repeated again.”
The federal budget was passed at the policy stage in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday after the majority of MPs present supported it through a voice vote.
However, Amanah’s Mahfuz Omar, who was unhappy with the voice vote, stood up requesting for a bloc vote but the move was unsuccessful with only 12 other MPs supporting him. The minimum requirement is 15.
Source : FMT
Anwar gave last-minute memo to PH MPs after Najib backed out of budget threat
The word-of-mouth message however did not reach Amanah MPs, most of whom stood up to call for a bloc vote.
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.
Source : Malaysia Now