KUALA LUMPUR – Oct 23, 2015: Several prominent opposition leaders have indicated that they will reject the 2016 Budget tabled today and will try to get support from Barisan Nasional members of parliament (MP) to do so.
After spending one hour and a half listening to the presentation of the budget by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, they were of the opinion that the budget was inefficiently made.
The opposition’s scorn of the budget was apparent when its tabling was concluded in the Dewan Rakyat.
Many, with the exception of Pas MPs, raised placards, querying Najib regarding the RM2.6 billion political donations wired into his personal account at the end of the budget presentation.
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, insisted that the budget was not designed to ease the people’s burden in the long run.
“Not only did it failed to give long term solution to tackle the rising cost of living, the budget had also failed to answer lingering questions on various issues.
“Everyone is concerned about the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the possible sacking of Tony Pua from the Public Accounts Committee line-up and RM2.6 billion political donation.
“But these issues were not even addressed in the budget,” stressed Dr Wan Azizah who is the Permatang Pauh MP.
She pledged to vigorously oppose the budget in the upcoming debate session.
PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is the Gombak MP shared similar grouses as Dr Wan Azizah’s regarding the budget.
He claimed that despite the seemingly generous amount of fund allotted in the budget, it will not solve what he alleged as corruption and abuse of power that has been so endemic in the federal government.
“But we are certainly very well prepared to counter and rebut the national budget.
“Just wait till we participate in the debate starting this Monday,” said Azmin.
Azmin admitted that he hoped the “rebel MPs” within Barisan Nasional will have the courage to reject the budget.
“They should not succumb to peer pressure.
“They should cast their vote based on their personal conscience and the interest of the people and the country as well,” he said.
Similar contention was also voiced by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, who also pledged that she, along with the rest of the opposition bench will vote against the budget.
“I am not oppose to the measures for the rakyat (the people).
“The real issue is that I am against the Prime Minister of the federal government,” she stressed.
However, she agreed that the only way to successfully scuttle the budget and Najib’s administration is to cooperate with BN MPs who are against the prime minister’s leadership.
Nurul Izzah who is the Lembah Pantai MP advised her BN counterparts to thoroughly contemplate on the implications of their vote for the budget.
“It requires serious thought. We are a country that has been governed by the same party since independence, so it is really crucial for them to think things through.
“Their votes and decisions in regards to this budget will not just affect them but the country and its people.
“I really hoped that they will use this opportunity to do the right thing,” she said.
Meanwhile, there appeared to be no apparent signs of mutiny brewing within BN MPs’ ranks today.
The budget seemed to be warmly welcomed by the majority of them.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar of Rembau was satisfied with the RM35 million allocated for his ministry and the RM145 million to prepare for the upcoming Sea Games.
Agriculture Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabeery Cheek of Kemaman was delighted that the budget was done in tandem with the needs of farmers in the country.
“This time around, the national budget has allotted a lot of initiatives, including the introduction of paddy sale subsidy rate to help the lower income group including to 150,000 paddy farmers,” he said.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai of Bentong also shared similar sentiment on the budget, as he deemed that it is a comprehensive budget for all Malaysians.