Budget vote can be postponed if MPs agree, says academic

(Bernama) – The budget debate at the Dewan Rakyat can be extended, if MPs agree, in an effort to find the best point of agreement between the government bloc and the opposition, a law lecturer said today.

Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz of the International Islamic University said a vote on the budget could be postponed if agreement on the budget still could not be reached among MPs and a more thorough discussion was needed.

“Assuming there are some things that cannot be agreed upon and require more specific study, then voting on the bill can be postponed,” Shamrahayu said.

“For example, if the debate is set for 10 days, then it can be extended as it is of (national) interest; compared to other laws, the Supply Bill 2021 is the most important,” Shamrahayu said while taking part in the Ruang Bicara programme.

The budget debate is expected to continue for the ninth day in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow before the winding up by the relevant minister. Voting is scheduled to take place on Thursday (Nov 26).

Shamrahayu said amendments could also be made to add or remove any item or earlier proposal if necessary.

“If the government accepts (the amendments), then it is allowed. What matters is that when a debate takes place, the MPs can propose, add or remove the bill. If the justification is good and the government is open to to the idea, it can be accepted,” she said.