But the question is whether he managed to outshine the previous government’s budget moment or has he succeeded in irritating more people with ‘Abah’?
Abah is the moniker Muhyiddin gave himself since he took office. It is supposed to soothe the public to see that they have a father figure in power. Abah means father in Malay.
But with time, Abah became the ugly figurehead who wants to use a ‘rotan’ or whipping stick against the public.
Though his intentions when he made the speech about ‘whipping’ all those who violate the COVID-19 SOP’s was to calm the spirits, he triggered a massive outcry.
However, it was a relief to the country when Abah was absent from the Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul’s speech last Friday.
That was a winning point.
NAJIB’S WAN AZIZAH
In his hay day, fallen PM Najib Razak used examples to drive his point during his budget speeches. Some of the points were well taken by the public, some were either hated or made fun of.
In his last budget speech in 2018, Najib praised a ‘Wan Azizah’ getting people to think he was praising Anwar Ibrahim’s wife who is also a Wan Azizah.
But after all the praises and kind remarks, he introduced Wan Azizah Wan Salleh to the Parliament. She is a successful businesswoman.
This rattled many MPs on the opposition bench who later criticised him for his stint.
Will Abah fall into such a laconic performance during the Budget 2021 speech?
Nevertheless, besides the moniker and nicknames, the Malaysian public had their focus on the expectations from the budget.
They had their ears stuck to the speech, their eyes glued on the television or mobile screen when came budget time. And there were many angry people, while many others are still confounded by the budget speech.
In reality, the speech is serving as a platform for Muhyiddin to prove himself a capable PM. So far, his opponents and his actions at times pitched him as a PM who is losing his grip on power.
He had to fight nail and tooth to get to the budget day as the PM of the Perikatan Nasional coalition. He successfully, with help from above, defeated Anwar Ibrahim’s bid to overthrow him in September and in October.
The fact is so far the PN regime has not delivered as per the expectations of the public in general. This regime is even more hated and bashed online than Najib’s.
Abah is in power today thanks to a massive U-turn by the Umno and Barisan Nasional who faced serious issues after they declared their love for Anwar.
But the point is Abah has a massive chance to deliver, at last. With the content of the budget, to be discussed in another editorial, Abah scored points in the eyes of the Malays. So they hope.
But the budget did not rain cash contrary to what the public was hoping after the government’s rejection of proposals for the public to withdraw money from their Employees Provident Fund main account.
Muhyiddin has said the people should wait for the budget speech before feeling let down for on the EPF issue. He says they might not have to withdraw money from their old age saving account because the budget may provide the solutions for them.
Yet the budget had no other avenues but to let people withdraw from the EPF Account 1, though it is a meagre Rm600 per month for the next 12 months. And this, it is said, may be subject to conditions.
This has brought the social media in Malaysia to chatter on the budget issues.
Whatever Muhyiddin and his Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul offered, many do not see it as something tangible and tenable for the people.
Since a large number of people find they are not sustainable and justifiable, social media users are lashing at Abah.