Dr Wee: Opposition's bid to derail passing of Budget 2021 at committee stage fails for the fourth time

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition's attempt to derail the International Trade and Industry's (Miti) allocation under Budget 2021 through a bloc vote in Parliament has failed yet again, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"Taking heed from before this, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker requested the opposing side to be observers in the counting of votes to ensure transparency in the counting process to avoid mistakes from happening.

"After the vote count, a total of 110 votes were supported and 104 were against," he said in his Facebook post on Thursday (Dec 3).

He said this was the fourth time that the Opposition had failed to block the passing of Budget 2021 in Parliament.

Dr Wee said that the bloc-vote at this particular committee stage was notable as former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his son Datuk Seri Muhkriz Mahathir including Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were present in the House.

He said that the 222-member House currently has 220 members following the recent deaths of Batu Sapi MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong and Gerik MP Datuk Hasbullah Osman.

Six MPs were absent when the bloc-vote was held for Miti's allocation.

Dr Wee also noted that an earlier attempt by Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Madius Tangau to table a motion to slash Miti's allocation also failed when it was rejected by the Speaker.

"PH (Pakatan Harapan) leaders were seen to have gathered in numbers very early this morning (Dec 3) to support a motion by Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Madius Tangau but it was rejected by the Speaker as it did not follow conditions," Dr Wee.

Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun had rejected the motion as it did not meet the two-day notice requirement under Parliament's Standing Order 43.

On Monday (Dec 1), attempts by the Opposition MPs to derail the allocation for the Prime Minister's Department and the Finance Ministry at the committee stage through a bloc-vote failed.

So far, allocations for six other ministries were passed through a voice vote.

On Nov 26, Dr Mahathir's push for a block vote on Budget 2021 at the end of policy stage debates failed when it did not meet the requirement for calls by 15 MPs for a vote count to be held.

Since then Dr Wee has since described Opposition as being "consistently inconsistent" with regard to their bloc-vote attempts following threats by Kota Raja MP Mohamad Sabu that the Opposition would call for bloc-vote for all 27 ministries at the committee stage after Dr Mahathir's failure on Nov 26.

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