The Malaysian opposition has a tough choice on the Budget 2021: To vote or not to vote for the budget?
Voting for the budget will definitely give PM Muhyiddin Yassin a new lease of political life. He would have won not only the disgruntled Umno in Parliament.
These are two political points that cannot be ignored in the fractious dissent against the ruling coalition. One was the dissent within the PN and the other is now the dilemma that has struck the opposition.
Before the budget speech last week, there were serious talks between the ruling coalition partners on support for Muhyiddin. The Umno had declared war against the PM on several issues and wanted to have its leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi nominated as Deputy Prime Minister.
The Bersatu party and its leader Muhyiddin rejected the demands from the Umno. But the Umno buckled under pressure, according to sources and various news sites.
They pledged total and unconditional support for the PM after one of their MPS requested for a motion of no-confidence to be debated. The motion was rejected. Muhyiddin won these tussles and the dissent in the Perikatan Nasional government died down.
Umno now wants early elections, the last cards in its sleeve to pressure Muhyiddin to give in to its demands.
Sources from the opposition told Independent.co Keadilan will press for the deletion of the RM81.5 million granted to Jasa.
Jasa is the Special Affairs Department and it is said to be a propaganda arm being fed millions to campaign for the government. People are up in arms against the allocation for Jasa calling it an unnecessary waste of funds.
The opposition in Malaysia wants the allocations for Jasa to be distributed for the fight against COVID or others. They are also up in arms against Muhyiddin and his Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul for not including their pre-budget requests in the speech.
The King of Malaysia had urged the politicians to work together beyond party lines to push for a so-called ‘unity’ budget. But by the look of it, the exercise looks more like an election budget while the government dismissed all suggestions made by the opposition.
Opposition MPs are reacting to the budget speech saying it should be rejected. Shah Alam Member of Parliament, Khalid Samad says, the budget should be rejected because the PN has disobeyed the King’s order.
He says the government did not deliver a budget that could be supported by all MPs. Many are also questioning why Muhyiddin’s government did not deliver the so-called ‘unity’ budget.
They say it is a biased budget that favours the PN. Khalid says the budget is racist and irresponsible. However, the pro-government trolls are already positioning for attacks against the opposition.
In the event they vote against the budget, which will be put to vote soon, the opposition will be chastised for supposedly disobeying the Ruler.
This will be the theme they will use to build their campaign for the upcoming snap polls, which sources say might be called in early 2021. Such a campaign might hurt the chances of the Pakatan Harapan in a snap poll.
The country may not forgive them for going against the advice of the King who urged all MPs to give Muhyiddin support in Parliament.
On social media networks, however, the trend from tweeples and facebookers is for the opposition to boycott the budget.
Most people are unhappy that Muhyiddin did not respond positively to their request to allow the public to withdraw a lump sum from their Employees Provident Fund main account and to issue a blanket moratorium on loans.
Nevertheless, the country will only be able to go to polls if the resurgent pandemic curve could be flattened soon.