PETALING JAYA: DAP MPs have come under a storm of angry reactions from party leaders and supporters for allowing Budget 2021 to pass the policy stage.
This led to the party's head of Parliament Anthony Loke issuing an apology to supporters who had condemned their perceived inaction.
The Seremban MP justified the decision, however, saying that DAP did not reject the Budget as a whole.
"There were areas we could agree and support such as civil servant salaries, a special allowance for frontliners, cash assistance for the people, wage subsidies for employers, allocations for public transportation such as MY30 and other allocations that would directly benefit the people.
"At the same time, we also rejected many allocations such as the RM85mil for the Department of Special Affairs (Jasa), allocations cuts to schools of different streams and other issues that were raised by the Opposition," he said in a statement.
However, Loke, who is also DAP National Organising Secretary, said the fight isn't over, as Budget 2021 still has to go through debates at the committee stage before it is considered fully passed by Parliament.
He said what happened on Thursday (Nov 26) merely meant that Budget 2021 had passed the policy stage and ministries' allocations would have to be debated once again in detail before it is passed.
"Was the Budget passed by Parliament on Thursday? The answer is no...starting Monday (Nov 30), every day there will be a chance for a bloc vote to be called by at least 15 MPs," he said.
Malaysians who read Loke's comment on the Budget's voting process expressed their disappointment on his Facebook comment section.
One commenter said while he respects Loke, he said Loke's explanation did not make sense, while another insinuated that Pakatan Harapan might have lost its bite.
Loke's explanation also drew criticism from those linked to the party.
Selangor DAP committee member Teng Chang Khim said any explanation made outside Parliament was not good enough.
"If you did not stand up in Parliament to object, do not tell me on Facebook you object to it. Shameful," said the Bandar Baru Klang assemblyman.
Loke's explanation came hours after lawyer Syahredzan Johan, who is also an aide to DAP political stalwart and Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang, posted on Twitter that the people needed an explanation on what transpired in Parliament.
"An explanation is in order. We owe the people this," he said on Twitter.
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