Let’s talk before tabling Budget 2021, Pakatan urges Muhyiddin

(The Star) – Pakatan Harapan has urged Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to discuss the Budget 2021 with the coalition before tabling it on Nov 6.

“The Pakatan presidential council agrees with the King that it is important and serious for Budget 2021 to be discussed with the Opposition before it is tabled in Parliament.

“Therefore, the Prime Minister must heed the King’s call by holding discussions and negotiations immediately with the Opposition regarding Budget 2021 before it is tabled in Parliament on Nov 6, so it achieves the King’s objectives,” it said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 29).

This follows after the Pakatan Harapan concluded its presidential council meeting after more than two hours at PKR’s headquarters in Merchant Square here.

However, its leaders kept mum regarding its support for the tabling of Budget 2021 when approached by reporters who gathered at Merchant Square since 3pm.

Only a press statement was issued to members of the media shortly after the meeting which took place from 4pm to 6.15pm.

Those present during the meeting were Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, Khalid Abdul Samad, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang among others.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil, when approached by reporters, also remained tight-lipped over the meeting.

“Refer to the statement,” he said.

It was understood that the meeting on Thursday was called to deliberate the Opposition’s decision on whether or not to back Budget 2021.

The King, on Wednesday (Oct 28) said that all MPs, regardless of their political leanings, should stop squabbling and give full support to Budget 2021 for the people’s livelihood and to aid the recovery of the economy hit by Covid-19.

Budget 2021 will see debates at the policy stage for almost two weeks and three days of ministerial replies, followed by voting by MPs on Nov 23 in Parliament.

Previously, the government sought to declare a state of emergency after a special Cabinet had taken into account, among other things, possible scenarios, should the Budget be defeated by the Opposition.

However, the King then decided against declaring a state of emergency, while reminding politicians to stop all forms of politicking that could disrupt the stability of the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.