KUALA LUMPUR: After failing to derail Budget 2021 in Parliament, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has chided other Opposition MPs for purportedly “supporting” the Perikatan Nasional government.
“When there were only 13 Opposition MPs who stood up to reject Budget 2021, a bloc vote could not take place because it needed 15 MPs," said the former prime minister.
Instead, he said it was “supported” by Opposition MPs without a sense of guilt for reneging on their promises to the rakyat.
“This is what took place in Parliament, ” he said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 26).
Dr Mahathir's criticism was directed at Opposition MPs after a call for bloc vote by Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar failed.
A bloc vote requires the support of 15 MPs but only 13 MPs stood up in support of Mahfuz’s call in the House shortly after Budget 2021 was passed by a voice vote.
Dr Mahathir said all Pejuang MPs and other MPs held on to their initial promise to reject Budget 2021.
“When we take a stand, we will not budge from it on the basis that we have a responsibility as an elected representative.
“We maintain our stance to reject any form of corruption and we hope the people will be aware of this and reject corruption. Only by rejecting corruption, can the rot in the country be avoided, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir also reiterated that he and other Pejuang MPs – Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, and Shahruddin Md Salleh – would not budge from their stand to reject Budget 2021.
Meanwhile, at a press conference in Parliament, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he had appealed to Amanah president Mohamad Sabu to avoid block voting so that Budget 2021 could continue to be debated at the committee stage next week.
“Whether it will be approved or not at the final third reading (committee stage), there is no indication by us that we are not pursuing the agenda, ” said Anwar.
Budget 2021 will resume debates at the committee stage next Monday (Nov 30).
Although Budget 2021 can be passed via a simple voice vote after debates at the committee stage completes, it can still be derailed via a bloc vote.
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