Save Budget, don’t vote out Muhyiddin, says Bersih

(FMT) – The Bersih 2.0 electoral reform group has appealed to politicians not to bring down the Muhyiddin Yassin government but to allow the approval of the 2021 Budget, which contains Covid-19 relief aid measures.

The group urged politicians to agree not to vote against the ruling government on a no-confidence motion or over budgetary matters so that the Covid-19 relief budget “will go through and preserve stability in Parliament”.

The 2021 Budget is scheduled to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 6. If the house fails to approve the budget, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government headed by Muhyiddin will fall.

Several MPs have also filed motions of no confidence in Muhyiddin as prime minister.

Bersih 2.0 urged politicians to put aside their differences and work together on a “confidence and supply” agreement.

“This would mean that the opposition would agree not to vote against the PN government in confidence votes or on budgetary matters while reserving the right to oppose other legislation,” it said in a statement.

The statement comes in the wake of speculation that Muhyiddin would seek royal approval for a partial state of emergency to deal with the recent surge in Covid-19 infections.

The move for emergency powers has been widely condemned by politicians who claim it is an attempt to salvage his position in the face of the confidence motions. Prominent lawyers have contended that emergency powers are unnecessary, as there were sufficient powers under present laws to deal with the pandemic.

Bersih said “it would be reasonable to suspect” that politics was the real motive of declaring an emergency in view of the fact the PN government has a slim majority of two or three MPs, coupled with the recent move by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to take over the government.