Motion to postpone Budget debate rejected

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 25 Nov 2008

THE Dewan rejected a motion by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to postpone the Budget debate and discuss the United Nations’ latest report on the country’s massive foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development World Investment Report 2008 said that Malaysia’s FDI outflow had touched RM38bil compared with its RM29bil inflow, resulting in the country experiencing a net outflow of RM9bil, Anwar said.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee said that while the matter was specific and of public interest, it was not urgent.

Anwar said the issue was urgent, adding that if it was not discussed and tackled soon, it might lead to a deteriorating economic situation.

He also urged the Barisan Nasional to have a special session with the Pakatan Rakyat to find solutions to the issue.

“So I continue to ask the Minister (Inter­national Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) to take the issue seriously and not just state what the FDI inflow is and play down the FDI outflow,” he said.

Kiandee replied that Muhyiddin had ex­­plained the issue last month when he replied to points raised during the debate on the Budget at policy stage and had also answered a similar question at the committee stage last week.

Anwar had earlier said that the massive FDI outflow had occurred since 2005 and if prolonged, would result in economic recession, dwindling gross national domestic product and unemployment.

At the Parliament lobby, Anwar said that what was more important was finding a solution to a problem.

Meanwhile, PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayob (PAS – Kubang Kerian) said that a big rally against the Internal Security Act (ISA) organised by the party would be held in March just before the Umno general assembly.

Salahuddin, together with eight other PAS leaders, were arrested at the launch of an anti-ISA campaign in Ampang Jaya on Sunday night but were released on police bail at 5am.

“We are supposed to report back to the police on Dec 8,” he told reporters at the lobby.

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