Anwar’s message did not reach us, says Amanah MP

(FMT) – Amanah MPs stood up to push for a bloc vote on the budget yesterday because they did not receive opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s message to allow it to pass at the policy stage, said Sepang MP Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.

In a Facebook post, Hanipa gave his side of the story on what transpired in Parliament, when the majority of opposition MPs had opted against an individual vote for the passage of the budget.

Hanipa said Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and vice-president Mujahid Yusof did not stand out of respect for Anwar’s instructions and in the spirit of solidarity for Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“The Amanah president, we believe, might not have had the time or overlooked passing on the opposition leader’s message to Amanah MPs.

“Therefore, for Amanah MPs, we were confident there was no problem in standing up in support of Pokok Sena (Mahfuz Omar) yesterday,” he said, adding that it was a “spontaneous action”.

Despite the budget being passed at the policy stage, Hanipa said, the government was not “out of the woods yet” as there were still the debates at the committee stage, which will take place from Monday.

“In terms of procedure, the passing of the budget is determined by the third reading of the Supply Bill (2021). That day, God willing, will be ‘the grand finale’,” Hanipa said.

The budget was passed through a voice vote after Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz tabled it for a second reading. Hanipa was one of the 13 MPs who stood up.