PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s strategy in directing Pakatan Harapan MPs to back Budget 2021 at the policy stage seemed to be rather confusing and disappointing but may have been to avoid angering the King, says veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic).
He said the Opposition Leader needed to be careful not to be accused of denying the advice of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, who had called on MPs to work together to pass the Budget.
He also questioned whether Anwar is unsure if he has strong and convincing support as he claimed to last Oct 13.
“Maybe yes or maybe no because he reportedly submitted documents to the Palace of having 128 MPs supporting him.
“If it is true he has the number, Pakatan can defeat Perikatan Nasional in the split vote to reject the Budget yesterday, ” he said in a Facebook post Friday (Nov 27).
Kadir, however, quoted DAP’s head of Parliament Anthony Loke as saying that if Pakatan rejects the Budget, it will be accused of disobeying the King’s advice of among others not wanting the salaries of civil servants to be paid, not supporting aid to the B40 groups, restricting allowances for farmers and fishermen.
He added that the factors on obeying the advice of Yang di-Pertuan Agong are quite interesting.
“If it's true that Anwar has presented the evidence of 128 SDs (statutory declarations) supporting him, then the response of His Majesty is the future determinant of the Opposition chief and this is why he must not provoke the ire of the King, ” he said.
In addition, Kadir said that the Budget has yet to be passed and starting this Monday (Nov 30), the debate will enter the committee level where the allocation of every ministry will be discussed in detail and approved.
“At that stage, technically, every day there is an opportunity to propose bloc votes by any 15 members of the House.
“As I suggested before, the Budget can be separated from the issue of a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister, which the Speaker could give assurance that it will still be debated, ” added Kadir.
Only 13 MPs openly stood up to force a bloc vote on Thursday (Nov 26) including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was also supported by some Amanah members.
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