by FARA AISYAH / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said it is irresponsible for the Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and other government leaders to issue threatening statements to pressure MPs to approve the Budget 2021 although it has many shortcomings.
“The statement directly aims to prevent MPs from carrying out their responsibilities to ensure that the budget is in the interests of the people and not the political interests of the ruling party.
“Based on the statements of the Finance Minister and other government leaders, if the budget is rejected, the people and civil servants will suffer as a result of the attitude of MPs who reject the Budget 2021,” the Langkawi MP said in a statement today.
Tengku Zafrul previously said if the Budget 2021 is rejected, civil servants and frontliners will not receive their salaries, pensions and allowances.
Dr Mahathir further said that MPs need to give a “blank check” and support for the approval of the Budget 2021 even if there are significant defects in the allocation.
“I hope that the Finance Minister and the government leaders who are in the throes of losing power will stop issuing baseless statements, which intimidate the people solely for their political survival,” he added.
The 95 year old leader pointed out when he was the PM in 1999, the Budget 2000 which was tabled in October did not continue its debate because Parliament was dissolved in November of that year to give way for the 10th general election.
Dr Mahathir said after the election, the government with the new mandate has received the approval of the Dewan Rakyat for the initial allocation of government expenditure for two or three months while waiting for the Special Budget Conference to be held in February 2000.
“This initial provision ensures that administrative expenses are not disrupted and salaries, pensions and allowances of civil servants are not affected.
“This provision also includes payment for other additional provisions either for ministries or to facilitate the lives of the people,” he said.