PM’s Dept budget passed through bloc vote

(FMT) – The Dewan Rakyat today passed the budget for the Prime Minister’s Department through a bloc vote.

There were 105 ayes and 95 nays, while 20 MPs did not vote. Another two – Liew Vui Keong (Batu Sapi) and Hasbullah Osman (Gerik) – have passed away. Their seats are still vacant.

Earlier, Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun had called for a voice vote which saw the Perikatan Nasional MPs clearly having a louder voice.

Notable absentees on the government bench during the vote at about 2.00pm today were Najib Abdul Razak (BN-Pekan), Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (BN-Bagan Datuk), Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN-Gua Musang) and Jeffrey Kitingan (PN-Keningau). Those absent on the opposition side were Masir Kujat (PSB-Sri Aman), Chow Kon Yeow (Harapan-Tanjong), Awang Husaini Sahari (Harapan-Putatan), Michael Teo (Harapan-Miri), Christina Liew (Harapan-Tawau) and all eight Warisan MPs.

However, the opposition MPs called for a bloc vote with more than 15 of them – the minimum number required – standing up in a show of support.

Azhar announced the results after the votes were tallied in about 10 minutes.

Halfway through the voting process, opposition MPs stood up to object against Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu) entering the hall while the votes were being counted.

The Prime Minister’s Department consist of five ministries – Law, Economy, Religious Affairs, Special Functions, and Sabah and Sarawak Affairs.

The MPs will now continue debating the allocations for the other ministries, before passage of the Supply Bill 2021 at committee stage.

Last week, the RM322 billion budget was passed through a voice vote at the policy stage after the opposition MPs failed to get 15 MPs to push for a bloc vote.