by RAHIMI YUNUS/ FILE PIX
FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said no significant change can be achieved if the proposed Budget 2021 is rejected at the committee level debate session.
“Rejecting the budget at the committee level, as it is said to be done, will not bring any significant impact on the government nor the proposed budget.
“It is just an attempt to divert the criticisms of the people who are disappointed with the attitude of the Opposition,” Dr Mahathir said in a statement today.
The Langkawi MP said when the budget was passed without opposition for the second reading at the Dewan Rakyat, it meant that the Opposition, except for the 13 members who stood against the Budget yesterday, has recognised the government.
Dr Mahathir further said he finds it strange that most of the opposition MPs supported the budget along with MPs from the ruling parties.
When the budget was tabled, he said, the Opposition expressed that it would reject the budget including some of the leaders who had met him one day earlier.
Additionally, he said there were not less than 25 motions of no-confidence filed against PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.
But only 13 MPs stood against the budget for a bloc vote instead.
“Inevitably, we tend to believe that various sweeteners were offered for support. If it is true, it means that corruption has reached a very dangerous level in the country. Everything can be bought with money including the government,” Mahathir added.
Meanwhile, three opposition MPs — Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir of Johor Bahru, Hassan Abdul Karim (Pasir Gudang) and Nurul Izzah Anwar (Permatang Pauh) — said in a joint statement that the last-minute instructions by the Opposition leadership to approve the budget at the policy level have disappointed a lot of parties.
“We were ready to reject the budget until the last minute directive that bound PKR MPs according to party discipline compliance,” they said.
They said as a responsible opposition MP, the people’s trust should not only be respected but delivered through appropriate actions.
Read our previous report here