KUALA LUMPUR – Oct 27, 2015: In their relentless pursuit to reject the Malaysia’s 2016 budget, it appears that leaders of Pakatan Harapan (PH) are not on the same page with one another on the impact of rejecting it.
While a leader from PH concurred that rejecting the budget would have serious impact on the well-being of the economy another one disagreed, saying that there would not be any significant hiccups if the budget were to be scuttled.
Parti Amanah Negara committee member Khalid Samad said that although the country would suffer severe economic repercussion should the national budget be rejected, he insisted that the economy will suffer even more if the budget was to be approved.
“Obviously the rejection of the budget would be detrimental to our economy. But at the same time it must also be acknowledged that allowing them to carry on as usual in the face of blatant misuse of funds gives a bad signal.
“Therefore, the budget needs to be rejected as quickly as possible so that an immediate re-alignment and formation of a new government can occur,” he said.
Khalid who is also member of parliament (MP) for Shah Alam added that once a new government has been formed then only can a new replacement budget be drafted.
When asked whether a new budget could be drafted quickly enough given that there are only two more months before the year ends, Khalid expressed confidence that it was not impossible despite the exercise being strenuous.
“PH has already come out with our own shadow budget, though it is not as detailed as the official budget we can definitely use the shadow budget as a basis to draft the new budget,” he said.
However, Khalid admitted that PH’s plan to reject the national budget so that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak can be ousted from his presidency hinges upon the support of BN MPs.
“There is no way PH can outvote BN unless BN MPs are willing to go along with our plan.
“I agree that the prospect of a mutiny happening within BN is slim but it is not impossible because as it is nobody is able to defend Najib on the RM2.6 billion political donation issue.
“This shows that when it comes down to this issue, nobody wants to touch on it and from the looks of it, he is on his own,” Khalid claimed.
On the other hand, PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang (Tian Chua) was of differing views from Khalid on the severe drawbacks of rejecting the national budget.
He claimed that rejecting national budgets was the norm in any democratic country.
“Even Obama (President of the United States) has had his national budget rejected but I don’t see the US economy slumped or slowed down plus I don’t even see the US suffer at all.
“This budget must be rejected because it’s not a budget that solves the people’s problems. This is a budget that is drafted to defend a very unpopular Prime Minister (Najib),” he claimed.
Contrary to popular belief that rejecting the national budget would cripple the economy and spook foreign investors, Tian Chua who is also the MP for Batu, dismissed this as untrue.
He claimed that the whole purpose to scuttle the budget was to only unseat Najib from his presidential post not to “collapse” the nation’s economy.
“Rejecting the budget will not be detrimental to neither the economy nor the salary of civil servants.
“There is actually little cause for anyone to be overly worried if the national budget gets rejected because in the event that it does get scuttled only a change of leadership will occur, not the entire government policies.
“The government will continue to function regardless who the leader is and civil servants will not be affected if the budget gets rejected,” he vouched.
When asked to speculate who will be the next Prime Minister if Najib were to indeed be ousted, Tian Chua declined to name anyone except to say that the person would most likely be from BN.
“It has to come from the party that commands the majority of the house and from the looks of it BN still has the majority so the new Prime Minister would still have to be from BN’s side,” he claimed.