Budget 2021: Anwar admits Opposition leaders told not to hold bloc vote during policy stage

PETALING JAYA: Leaders of the Opposition parties were instructed not to hold a bloc vote for Budget 2021 at the policy level, says Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

He said this was done so Members of Parliament could study and scrutinise the overall announcement by the Finance Minister.

"Members of Parliament have the right to question whether these provisions are in addition to those already announced or resulting from any cuts from certain ministries," he said.

This includes the actual amount of the Budget and the impact it will have on the country's financial situation.

He also questioned whether assistance would be provided to help those such as drivers taxis, canteen operators and others.

"Several mechanisms, which include the withdrawal of funds from the EPF and bank moratoriums, also need to be examined," he added.

The government had proposed to allow members to withdraw up to RM10,000 from Account 1 of their Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Anwar suggested that the Opposition could still state its stance including through bloc voting during the 2021 Budget debate at committee level in the coming weeks.

Anwar said there have never been such major amendments to the national Budget throughout the history of the Malaysian Parliament.

Only 13 MPs openly stood up to force a bloc vote on Thursday (Nov 26) including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and some Parti Amanah Negara members.

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