PH embarks on ‘27-0’ strategy to redeem budget vote failure

But observers question the extent to which the strategy will succeed.

(MalaysiaNow) – Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders have embarked on a “27-0” strategy, a reference to their readiness to challenge all 27 ministerial budgets by bloc vote even if it means losing all of them.

This follows its failure to force a vote on the budget at the policy stage last week, which drew it fire from its hardcore supporters.

A PKR source told MalaysiaNow that PH MPs had been instructed to force bloc voting for each of the 27 ministerial budgets to prevent an easy pass at the committee stage, debates for which began yesterday.

“The backlash from supporters was unexpected, and there is a growing feeling that PH is increasingly being seen as a toothless opposition,” the party insider who has access to top leaders said.

The move is largely seen as an attempt to redeem the image of the former ruling coalition, whose leaders were widely criticised for following opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim’s last-minute directive to stand down from rejecting the 2021 budget, preventing the budget vote from becoming a confidence motion.

Yesterday, PH and other opposition MPs forced a bloc vote on the budget’s allocations for the Prime Minister’s Department and the finance ministry, but failed to get the numbers needed.

It is believed that the opposition was denied the numbers due to the absence of Sabah’s Warisan MPs.

Several key Umno critics of the Perikatan Nasional government such as former prime minister Najib Razak, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah were also absent.

There are 27 sets of allocations for the various ministries to be debated in the coming days.

The first two debates, held yesterday, saw the budgets for the Prime Minister’s Department and the finance ministry approved based on individual voting by MPs.

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