KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan has urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to discuss and negotiate with the opposition before tabling the 2021 budget in the parliament next week.
In a joint statement on Thursday (Oct 29), PH presidential council said the budget has to focus on the needs of frontliners, who were defending Malaysians from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It (the budget) also needs to set a direction which can ensure Malaysia will continue to progress, during and after the pandemic.
“This includes identifying new development strategies for the economy, while helping millions of Malaysians who have been affected, whether through loss of jobs or income in 2020,” the joint statement said.
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The statement was jointly issued by Mr Anwar Ibrahim, who leads Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), together with Mr Lim Guan Eng and Mr Mohamad Sabu from the Democratic Action Party and Parti Amanah Negara respectively.
The statement added that millions of Malaysian who are now at or below the poverty line are hoping for help through this budget.
“Groups which should not be left behind are also those who hope for the loan moratorium to be extended," it said.
"Based on these reasons, the PH presidential council strongly agrees with the king that it is of utmost importance and seriousness for the budget to be negotiated with the opposition before it is tabled in the parliament," it added.
The PH presidential council had met earlier at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
The upcoming parliament meeting on Nov 2 will see Mr Muhyiddin presenting his first budget, and the exercise is expected to be fraught with bargaining and negotiations, as the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has only a slim two-seat majority.
Meanwhile, the country’s economy has taken a beating from the COVID-19 pandemic and various lockdowns imposed to combat its spread.
On Oct 23, Mr Muhyiddin had a special meeting with Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to present proposals to declare a state of emergency amid the worsening COVID-19 situation and ongoing political instability.
However, following the Malay Rulers’ Council meeting on Oct 25, the king said he felt there was no need to declare a state of emergency for Malaysia.
Following this rejection, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) after a series of meetings announced late on Monday night that they would continue supporting the PN government led by Mr Muhyiddin.
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Previously, it was speculated that some UMNO leaders, including party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, were behind the idea of supporting Mr Anwar. The latter had previously claimed that he commanded a majority in terms of parliamentary support.
In light of the developments, Mr Anwar issued a statement on Tuesday calling for a bipartisan effort for budget 2021.