Najib’s budget not perfect but must be passed, ex-MB Khalid says


(Malay Mail Online) – Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, former PKR man and ex-Selangor mentri besar, today stood firmly by his decision to vote in favour of Budget 2016, saying although Putrajaya’s spending plan could be improved, there was no need to rejected it outright.

Khalid, who is now an independent MP for Bandar Tun Razak, said all the budget needs is a partial correction.

He pointed out that although he voted for the budget yesterday, he too had raised some issues during debates, such as his concern over the government’s privatisation efforts.

“Even during my budget speech, I questioned the need for privatisation and I also said there was a need to review previous privatisations so that we will have to correct the problems we are facing now as concessionaires are reaping huge profits out of this concessions,” he told reporters at the lobby of Parliament this morning.

Despite these concerns, however, Khalid maintained that it was unnecessary to vote down the budget.

“My feelings are the budget must go through as there are a lot of development exercises to be done by the government and if we feel there is something to be corrected, you don’t have to correct the whole budget,” the former PKR lawmaker said.

“So as the parliamentary representative of Bandar Tun Razak, I do not see a need to oppose the budget,” he added.

The House yesterday voted 128 to 74 in favour of passing the budget’s first reading, after a marathon day of winding up speeches by six ministers to round up the list of 31 ministers responding to points raised during the debate.

The result was expected as there are currently only 71 MPs from Pakatan Harapan in the House, following the suspension of DAP’s Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang.

Budget 2016 will now proceed to the committee stage debate, scheduled to start later today.