All MPs will get to vote on Budget, says Azhar


Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO, HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, RAHIMY RAHIM and TARRENCE TAN

ALL MPs will be allowed into the Dewan Rakyat to vote on Budget 2021, says Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.

“If bloc voting is called for, then the House bell will be rung for two minutes and a 10-minute period will be given for all MPs to enter the House, where the bell will be rung again for another two minutes before voting is held.

“There is no limit on the number of MPs present during bloc voting, ” he said when responding to RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) yesterday.

Rayer sought clarification from Azhar on the matter following criticism over the decision to limit

the number of MPs in the House to 80.

Azhar said critics did not take note of how voting on the Budget would be carried out.

He revealed that it was a consensus decision made by all party chief whips to reflect the majority at the Dewan Rakyat.

“Actually, there was a proposal for only two MPs from each party to be allowed to attend the sitting, but I was the one who fought for 100 people. After further discussion, there was a consensus decision to limit it to only 80 MPs.

“The composition applies only for attendance and debate sessions, ” he added.

He also said the decision to shorten debate time and limit the number of MPs in the House was aimed at limiting the risk of prolonged exposure to Covid-19.

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