MPs on both sides back Budget 2021 approval – not Emergency declaration

PETALING JAYA: A well-crafted Budget to fight Covid-19 will be supported, say two former Cabinet members.

Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak believes no Member of Parliament wants to oppose the Budget drafted to fight Covid-19, restore the economy and help the people at a time when the country is in dire need of it.

“Because this will only invite the anger of voters against MPs who did not support it, similar to the Covid-19 supplementary Budget Bill passed in Parliament in August, ” he said in a statement yesterday.

Declaring an Emergency or suspending Parliament should be the last option in the battle against Covid-19, he added.

The Pekan MP said that if there was a concern that the 2021 Budget would not be passed – which would cause the fall of the Perikatan Nasional government – the coalition needed to consult and discuss with all parties to ensure the Budget was not challenged.

He said the country was facing two wars now – against Covid-19 and the declining economy.

“In economic terms, we need to be aware that measures to declare a state of emergency, suspend the Constitution and suspend democracy that affect “checks and balances” will send the wrong message to investors, ” he said, adding that there were enough laws to battle Covid-19.

He said politically, there was a worry that such a proclamation would send the wrong message to voters that the Perikatan government was fragile, greedy and selfish.

“I am worried that this perception will cause the self-destruction of Perikatan, ” he said, adding that Barisan Nasional and Umno would also be affected during elections.

He urged all to support the decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers.

He added that if there was a concern about the upcoming Batu Sapi by-election, no one should contest the seat and let Warisan keep the seat.

As for the Sarawak state elections, he said there was still time for them as the state was able to conduct them in August next year.

Separately, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said everyone should be called to sit together to approve Budget 2021 without needing an election.

“Last time, I was ridiculed when I tried to amend the Constitution for Undi 18, even though the government did not have two-thirds majority.

“This has never happened in the history of Malaysia, but Alhamdulillah, because of bipartisanship, we made it happen together, ” said the founder of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) on Facebook last Saturday.

Noting that he was once insulted for sitting together with the opposition to pursue a “national agenda”, Syed Saddiq said Malaysia needed more bipartisanship, adding that egos needed to be put aside as well as to look across party lines when it came to the common good.

“I hope the Prime Minister can consider my proposal. Meet with everyone and find the middle ground together.

“We are not unreasonable. We love Malaysia more than anything else. We did it before, we can do it again for Malaysia.”

In Kota Kinabalu, Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said it was time for both sides of the political divide to put aside their differences and work together towards fighting the real enemy of the country.

“We may not agree on many things most of the time, but at this moment, I think we can agree on one thing – we love our country.

“May God give us all the wisdom and guidance to choose the right and correct path for the benefit of the country, ” said the Semporna MP.

He said the proposed Emergency proclamation was not the option for Malaysia and believed that unity was the solution during these trying times.

“The collapsing domestic and global economy which is affecting the livelihood of every Malaysian is the real enemy, ” said Shafie.

“I plead to all leaders in our beloved country to put aside our differences and work as one to overcome the greatest challenge that we are facing, and to put King, country and the people first before all other issues, ” said the former Sabah chief minister, whose party has eight MPs in Parliament.

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