Anwar told the Pakatan MPs to not oppose Budget 2021, hence legitimising the Perikatan government
Mahathir said several opposition MPs had met him a day before the vote on the second reading and told him they intended to oppose the bill, but this didn’t happen
(FMT) – Failure to oppose the 2021 budget is tantamount to legitimising the Muhyiddin Yassin government, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
He said the opposition decision to approve the second reading of the Supply Bill meant recognition of the government by opposition MPs except for the 13 members who opposed the motion.
Mahathir said there would not be any significant effect on the government or the budget already tabled if opposition members were merely to oppose the supply bill at the committee stage in the Dewan Rakyat.
He said several opposition MPs had met him a day before the vote on the second reading and told him they intended to oppose the bill. “But this didn’t happen. When asked to call for a bloc vote, only 13 opposition MPs stood up, two less than the amount required. So the budget (second reading) was passed with a voice vote.”
Dr M hits at MPs who compromised out of their own interest
He said the promise by the opposition to request for a block vote (division) at the end of the committee stage was merely an excuse created to divert the attention of the party members and supporters who felt let down with the failure to reject the Supply Bill.
He raised the possibility of government leaders having bribed MPs to accept the budget.
“Inevitably, we tend to believe that kickbacks are offered in exchange for support. If it is true, it means that corruption has reached a very dangerous level for the country. Everything can be bought with money, including the government,” he said.
He also criticised opposition MPs for being willing to compromise to serve their own political interests.
Mahathir, who is MP for Langkawi, said all MPs of his yet-to-be-registered Pejuang party would continue to oppose the budget which, he said, failed to bring any long-term benefit to the country in dealing with the economic downturn caused by Covid-19.
On Thursday, the Dewan Rakyat approved the second reading of the Supply Bill by voice vote.
An Amanah MP, Mahfuz Omar, stood up to request a division or block vote, where all votes are counted for the record, but only 12 other MPs stood up to support him. The minimum number for the motion is 15 MPs.