Dr Wee chides Loke over attempt to derail ministry’s allocation under Budget 2021 via bloc vote

PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has chided his predecessor Anthony Loke for attempting to derail the RM6.052bil allocation under Budget 2021 for the Transport Ministry through a bloc vote, which later failed.

In a Facebook post Monday (Dec 7), Dr Wee said he was made aware by a PKR lawmaker of DAP's prior intention to call for a bloc vote at the committee stage of debates, describing it as a “DAP script”.

"It was a planned script by DAP, as the party will be holding their party polls to appoint a new secretary-general.

"Imagine if the DAP motion had succeeded, it would have likely been used as a benchmark or campaign material by the candidate to gain support in the coming polls," added Dr Wee.

He also said Loke's reason for calling for the bloc vote did not hold water.

"Before the voting, YB Seremban (Loke) said he stood up to call for the bloc vote as I had not answered his questions," according to Dr Wee.

However, Dr Wee said he had answered Loke's specific queries, namely the RM6mil and RM10mil allocations for the north-south RCVEP (vehicle entry permit) projects, RM521mil for urban transport and RM500mil for the RTS

Link project.

On the issue of the cabotage exemption for submarine cable repair vessels, Dr Wee said Loke had already raised it several times during the debates on the budget at the policy stage on Nov 24.

"If he did not agree with the cabotage policy, why wasn't he bold enough to stand up and ask for a bloc vote when the Dewan Rakyat was deciding on Budget 2021 at the policy stage on Nov 26?" Dr Wee said.

He added that the Malaysia Shipowners’ Association (MASA) had recently issued a statement on the cabotage policy, with the association fully aware of the demands by local shippers.

Dr Wee also noted that allocation for 13 ministries under Budget 2021 had since been passed by the Dewan Rakyat at the committee stage of debates.

Apart from the Transport Ministry, the Opposition had also called for a bloc vote in an attempt to derail allocations for the Prime Minister's Department, Finance Ministry and International Trade and Industry Ministry.

However, the allocations were passed after the Opposition failed to garner sufficient votes.

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