Tengku Razaleigh abstains from budget voting

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by BERNAMA

GUA Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picture) will not be participating in the Budget 2021 debate due to the lower house’s refusal in allowing a motion of no confidence towards Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Umno lawmaker said as an independent institution, the Dewan Rakyat should be given the room to test the legitimacy of Muhyiddin’s government without seeking the executive’s permission.

In a letter dated Nov 19, 2020 to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, Tengku Razaliegh expressed his full disagreement with the speaker’s views that he should seek the consent of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan to have the motion of no confidence tabled.

“It is my view that the minister of law has no role whatsoever in determining whether a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat can be tabled.

“To suggest that such an important issue is subject to the agreement of the minister of law is unconstitutional and a serious breach of the autonomy and independence of the Dewan Rakyat from any form of control by the executive,” said the Umno nonagenarian in the letter which was shared on his social media account.

This Thursday, 220 MPs are expected to vote for the Budget 2021, with the pro-government bloc only having a total of 112 votes after the death of Gerik MP Datuk Hasbullah Osman.

The Opposition is also down to 108 representatives after the death of Batu Sapi MP Liew Vui Keong.

With Tengku Razaleigh’s absence, the government may need support from the Opposition bloc to get the budget passed.