BN rejects Pakatan’s counter-proposal on budget

(TMI) – BARISAN Nasional (BN) does not agree with the confidence and supply agreement (CSA) proposed by the opposition, said several parliamentarians from the coalition.

Padang Rengas lawmaker Nazri Abdul Aziz said BN’s 43 lawmakers collectively rejected the opposition’s CSA proposal.

“Why should we be fair to them? When they were in government they were not fair to us,” he told The Malaysian Insight when met today after a meeting of BN MPs at the Putra World Trade Centre today.

Umno accounts for 39 of the BN MPs among its ranks in the 222-seat parliament. MCA has two MPs, and MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah one apiece.

A CSA is an arrangement in a hung parliament, in which an opposition party agrees not to vote against a minority government in votes of confidence or budgetary matters but reserves the right to oppose other legislation.

Several members of the opposition, including DAP’s Liew Chin Tong and Muda’s Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, have been pushing for the CSA to be signed ahead of the Budget 2021 voting this session.

Among the demands rumoured to be part of the CSA includes equal funding for all parliamentarians, totalling RM3.8 million.

Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman added that, if BN empowered the opposition, it would be detrimental to the coalition in the next elections.

“Why must we give it to them? It will kill us. What they did to us, we do to them,” he told reporters.

Sources told The Malaysian Insight that the Perikatan Nasional government, worried that the budget would be voted down, had initiated the talks for a CSA at the start of October.

Budget 2021 will be tabled on Friday.

A source said the plan was to sell the budget to the MPs as a “unity budget” to “fight the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Earlier today, Umno’s Azalina Othman Said also rubbished the idea of CSA because it was not applicable in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s razor thin majority was at stake when several Umno lawmakers threatened to pull out of the fragile coalition with BN, PAS and GPS.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah earlier last week advised all politicians to support Budget 2021 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, because funds are crucial for medical supplies and front-liners.

On Saturday, Muhyiddin also urged all political parties to put aside their differences and come together to vote for the budget to fight the pandemic.