Opposition MPs were confused over budget vote, says Baru

(FMT) – Selangau MP Baru Bain said confusion among the opposition members led to the voice vote that saw the 2021 budget approved at the policy stage yesterday.

The Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) MP, believed to be one of the 13 to have stood up for a bloc vote, said the confusion arose from a last-minute instruction from the opposition whip not to go for bloc voting.

“PKR and DAP MPs were looking at their leaders whether to stand up or not,” he said in a statement here today.

“I noticed some stood up and later sat down as their leaders did not stand up to indicate going for bloc voting.”

He said the opposition should go for a bloc vote (at the committee level) to defeat the budget as it was not comprehensive, and Perikatan Nasional (PN) was not a legitimate government which had the mandate from the people.

He said many of the opposition’s concerns had not been taken into account in the winding-up speech by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz.

“Whether we succeed (in defeating the budget) or not is another issue altogether. It is the principle behind the voting that matters. On the basis of the two reasons, I believe the opposition should vote against the budget,” Baru said.