No calls for bloc vote as more allocations are approved


Reports by HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, RAHIMY RAHIM, MARTIN CARVALHO and TARRENCE TAN

THREATS by Opposition MPs to derail Budget 2021 by consistently calling for a bloc vote look to be going nowhere with allocations for three more ministries passed at committee stage via voice voting.

The allocations approved were for the Agriculture and Food Industries, Energy and Natural Resources and Rural Development ministries.

This time, there were no calls for a bloc vote by Opposition MPs despite heated arguments from both sides of the divide since committee stage debates began on Monday.

The latest approvals raised the number of approved ministries to eight as of yesterday, with 19 more ministries to go through the committee stage in Parliament until Dec 15.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong did not mince his words as he questioned Pakatan Harapan over its “silence” in the House.

“Pakatan figures such as Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Mohamad Sabu and Tan Kok Wai were in the House while Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir were also present.

“The moment it was passed and there was no bloc vote, Dr Mahathir and Mukhriz exited the House right away. I was perplexed seeing it.

“Is it yet another coincidence? Mohamad Sabu is also very quiet, there wasn’t any shouting, ” he said in a statement posted on Facebook yesterday.

Dr Wee was referring to the Budget 2021 allocation for the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry.

The Ayer Hitam MP also gave a tongue-in-cheek conclusion to yesterday’s proceedings in his Facebook post.

“In summary, today (Dec 2) was different than yesterday (Dec 1), there were no bloc votes for three ministries.

“Abang Mat (Mohamad Sabu), can you enlighten us?” he asked the Parti Amanah Negara president.

Dr Wee, who is the MCA president, previously chided the Opposition after its MPs said that a bloc vote would be called for every ministry when the committee stage wrapped up this week.

Pakatan’s call for a bloc vote in recent days did not enjoy the support of four MPs from Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air and eight from Parti Warisan Sabah.

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