PKR MP: No ‘blank cheque’ support for Budget 2021

(Malaysiakini)  The Perikatan Nasional government should not expect “blank cheque” support from all MPs for Budget 2021, said PKR’s Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim.

Hassan (above) said all MPs have taken an oath to protect public interest and the Federal Constitution, hence must exercise their duties to scrutinise the budget.

“It doesn’t mean everything (in the bill) is bad. We will support good provisions and request that the bad ones be reviewed,” he told PKR organ Suara Keadilan.

Hassan added that Budget 2021 is the largest ever tabled and there will be more opportunities for leakages which must be addressed because the funds ultimately belonged to the rakyat.

Therefore, he said MPs – even backbenchers and members of the executive – should not provide blank cheque support for Budget 2021.

“Parliamentary democracy comes from the people. There should not be undue influence. We must trust (the wisdom) of the MPs.

“As an MP, I will defend both institutions – the monarchs and the rakyat who are represented by MPs – are protected under the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Some opposition parties have cautiously expressed a willingness to support Budget 2021 provided that the government incorporate their ideas.

This followed repeated advice by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for all MPs to ensure that Budget 2021 is passed in view of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Agong’s advice was made following attempts to realign political allegiances in late September and October which could have resulted in the toppling of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government.

In July, Muhyiddin demonstrated that he had commanded the support of 113 out of 222 MPs at most.

Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim, during the customary opposition leader’s speech on the budget, had already warned that Budget 2021 – which he said was not a “Covid-19 budget” – may not receive full support.

Veteran politicians Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang and Langkawi MP Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who are from DAP and Pejuang respectively, have similarly expressed that their parties would not provide blank cheque support.