Use budget to make your point, PKR MP tells opposition

PETALING JAYA: PKR MP Wong Chen (pic) urged his fellow opposition MPs not to blindly vote “yes” to the upcoming Budget 2021.

The Subang MP said that while a few of his counterparts might want to ensure the country had the financial resources to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, they should also make sure Budget 2021 was not used to simply prop up the current Cabinet.

“I would suggest that the Pakatan Harapan leadership consider using the Budget vote to trade for much-needed democratic reforms, ” he posted on Facebook yesterday.

Since Umno had said it would continue to support Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, he did not need the support of the opposition to pass the Budget, Wong added.

“If Umno is true to its words, Perikatan Nasional no longer needs opposition votes for the Budget, ” he said, but added that as “Malaysian politics is full of surprises”, Umno could always retract its support, while some in the opposition might also prove to be “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.

“Parliamentary convention demands that if a government is defeated in a money bill, it has no choice but to resign.

“The Budget vote is the mother of all money bills. If the prime minister loses this vote, he has to resign, ” Wong added.

Since Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun had already declared that a no-confidence vote could only happen in Parliament, Wong said the Budget vote was the only tool the opposition had “to test the legitimacy of the government”.

“On the very top of my list of democratic reforms is to give an unfettered right to the opposition to table a vote of no confidence.

“Second is a signed undertaking by the Cabinet to pass the Parliamentary Services Act in the March 2021 session to make Parliament financially and administratively independent from executive control, ” he said.

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