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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Najib's absence queried as Budget debate begins

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim took a swipe at Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s absence in the Dewan Rakyat today, as he kicked off debate on the Budget 2013 proposals.

NONE"The tradition is during the debate is for the finance minister (Najib) to be here. But when I invite him to debate, he doesn't dare. Now, even in Parliament, he doesn’t dare show up,” noted Anwar (right).

"He lets his backbenchers defend (the budget) but they have never been in the cabinet. They don't know the figures and can only depend on the Departments of Statistics. The finance minister should give them some notes next time.”

He was referring to figures cited by Abdul Rahman Dahlan (BN-Kota Belud) showing that the federal government is providing more money than the revenue collected in all states led by Pakatan Rakyat.

NONE"You can question the numbers, but this is what the Department of Statistics is giving," Abdul Rahman (left)said in his intervention.

Anwar responded that statistics can be manipulated to lie.

"It is not true to say that Selangor's revenue is less than its budget. It does not make economic sense. Where do you get the money?" he asked.

Anwar had started his 90-minute speech at 11.30am without the presence of any senior ministers in the House. He will finish speaking after the lunch break.

[More to follow]

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