Maria Chin apologises to Pakatan supporters for not rejecting Budget 2021 at policy stage

PETALING JAYA: Maria Chin Abdullah has apologised to Pakatan Harapan supporters for the decision not to support the call for a bloc vote to reject Budget 2021 at the policy stage after it was passed with a voice vote.

The Petaling Jaya MP said that it was not an attempt to mute the voice of individual parliamentarians by not standing up in support of bloc voting.

"I am sorry if people view it as a wrong decision.

“But the Finance Minister had added new things in the Budget at the 11th hour.

"We can't say 'no' to funds allocated to help farmers and we cannot say 'yes' to the Budget," she told The Star on Friday (Nov 27).

Maria Chin, however, pointed out that she had said "no" to the Budget during voice voting on Thursday (Nov 26).

Asked why she did not stand up to support the bloc vote, Maria Chin said they followed a decision made by Pakatan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"It was a collective decision together with Parti Warisan Sabah not to support the bloc vote," she said in response to criticism against Pakatan on social media for allowing Budget 2021 to pass at the policy stage.

On Thursday, Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar of Parti Amanah Negara called for a bloc vote over Budget 2021.

Only 13 MPs, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad supported the call. The motion was rejected as it did not have the support of a minimum of 15 MPs.

Selangor assemblyman Datuk Teng Chang Khim chided those who did not state their objection in Parliament.

"If you did not stand up in Parliament to object, do not tell me on Facebook you object to it. Shameful," he said.

Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto of DAP also took to social media to state her objection against Budget 2021.

DAP whip Loke Siew Fook also apologised, saying he would take responsibility for not instructing fellow party members to stand up in support of bloc voting against the Supply Bill (Budget) 2021 at the policy stage.

Amanah's Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad said he stood up to support the bloc vote because he was not aware of a last-minute instruction from Anwar not to support it.

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