KUCHING, Dec 15: The passing of the 2021 Budget by Malaysian MPs today has been hailed by PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing as a landmark decision by the country’s lawmakers who put the people’s wellbeing above their own political interest.
“The choice for our MPs was simple: the people’s livelihood or MPs personal political interests.
“I’m proud of our lawmakers as the majority of them have chosen the people’s livelihood instead of their personal interest. I still maintain my belief in the maturity of our MPs when the dice is thrown,” Masing asserted today.
The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president who is also the Deputy Chief Minister opined the sense of sense of responsibility among the MPS who supported the bill came to the fore when it mattered most.
“They go for people’s wellbeing and interests and not for their own benefits. I sympathise with the voters who had voted for the 108 MPs who were against the bill.
“So, when the 15th general election comes, voters, please cast your votes wisely. These 108 MPs who opposed the 2021 Budget only care for their own political interests and not the people’s interests,” he opined.
Masing was commenting on the failure of the opposition to thwart Budget 2021 as it was passed in the Dewan Rakyat today via a bloc vote.
The vote ended with 111MPs in favour and 108 MPs against the passing of the budget. One MP was absent out of the 220 members. The 111 votes represent a simple majority.
The Dewan Rakyat currently has 220 members following the deaths of two MPs earlier this year.
It is believed that the lone absentee was Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah from United Malays National Organisation (Umno).
Budget 2021, or the Supply Bill 2021, will now head to the Dewan Negara (Senate), where it will be debated and voted on before it gets the final seal of approval.
Yesterday, Pakatan Harapan called upon all lawmakers to reject the bill at its third reading, saying it had failed to meet the goals of combating Covid-19, helping the people and restoring the economy.
It was also widely reported yesterday that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) ranks were divided after Tengku Razaleigh, better known as Ku Li, together with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, held an extraordinary press conference yesterday to declare that the current government led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was illegitimate and warned that the government may fall if Muhyiddin did not get the support of the House for the budget.
Earlier in the day, the House also approved the education and higher education ministries’ respective budgets via a voice vote. All 27 ministries’ budgets had cleared the committee stage of Budget 2021 after passing the policy stage last month. The opposition lost im all bloc voting during the debates.
The RM322.5 billion budget is the biggest in Malaysia’s history as the country is in the throes of dealing with the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. — DayakDaily