Ku Li: Successful policy vote for Budget 2016 shows strong support for PM
(Malay Mail Online) – Last night’s policy stage vote for Budget 2016 was “indication” that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak continues to command strong support from members of the ruling coalition, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today.
Tengku Razaleigh said he also voted in favour of the Budget, but remained coy when asked if that meant he was similarly supportive of Najib’s leadership.
“No, that means we support the government programmes for the year. It (the Budget) was presented by the minister of finance, who is the prime minister,” Tengku Razaleigh said when met at the Parliament lobby here.
When asked to elaborate, the Gua Musang MP refused to be drawn further into the issue of support for Najib and told journalists to come to their own conclusion.
“Why these questions? You decide for yourself, okay?” he said.
Tengku Razaleigh, otherwise known as Ku Li, is among several senior Barisan Nasional leaders who have been openly critical of Najib’s handling of the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) issue.
The Dewan Rakyat voted 128 for to 74 against passing the Budget’s first reading last night, despite the opposition’s efforts over the past few weeks to convince government backbenchers to reject the federal spending plan as a show of no-confidence in Najib’s leadership.
The result was expected as there are only 71 MPs from Pakatan Harapan, excluding a vote from DAP’s Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang who has been suspended from Parliament, out of the 222-seat Parliament.
The opposition vote also did not get any help from Islamist party PAS — which decided that its 14 MPs would abstain from voting — though three of their MPs broke ranks and voted against the budget.