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Monday, November 30, 2020

YOURSAY | Missed opportunity to 'stand up' for the rakyat?

 


YOURSAY | 'The point was to use the budget to test the support for Muhyiddin.'

Loke apologises to unhappy party members, supporters over budget incident

Caught and Bowled: DAP parliamentary leader Anthony Loke, it was indeed an extremely disappointing decision by the Pakatan Harapan leadership for not having a go at the half-baked budget on Thursday.

It is beyond comprehension why Harapan, with the exception of one brave DAP MP from Sarawak and one PKR MP (and six Amanah MPs) who stood up in support of bloc voting, decided to support such a lopsided budget by the illegitimate backdoor regime.

And what makes you think that you would have the numbers to challenge the budget at the committee stage?

On one hand, we have an ‘illegitimate’ regime, cobbled together through betrayal, treachery and bribery, and reeks of abuse of power and incompetence. On the other hand, there seems to be a clueless opposition, led by a weak and indecisive opposition leader.

TC Chan: I never thought Loke would be talking rubbish. Of course, there is a large part of the budget that is good. Indeed, the whole of the budget may be very good. That isn’t the point.

The point was to use the budget to test the support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. It was to be a stand-in for a confidence motion because the 25-odd motions of no confidence filed will never see the light of day.

Harapan told us the current government is illegitimate and therefore it has no business governing. With this vote, Harapan is now complicit. And Loke said he takes responsibility? What does that even mean? Will he resign as DAP parliamentary leader?

Loke, just say that DAP was out there to humour opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Harapan has been outsmarted by Muhyiddin.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has praised the passage of the budget. Try and vote it down now, DAP, and see if you won’t be accused of being anti-royalty. I suggest Harapan should just stop calling Muhyiddin’s government ‘backdoor’.

Just wait for GE15, but you won’t get my vote or my donation.

OrangeJaguar9341: As much as we wanted to show our utter disgust at Perikatan Nasional (PN) and their budget, some last-minute changes to the budget resulted in Harapan not opposing it.

First, the vote on Thursday does not indicate that Harapan supports the budget as a whole. Second, it is not the end of the fight to oppose the budget.

I see the delay as a tactical move to not further alienate a big portion of the rakyat who naively believe the budget will 'save' them. Like it or not, it also avoids the perception of open defiance of the king's 'advice'.

By waiting to oppose the budget at the committee stage, Harapan can show maturity: they are responsive to the Finance Ministry's budget amendments, being rakyat-centric, respectful of the king, but fully mindful of their commitments and duties as our elected MPs.

We can continue to blame Anwar for calling off the bloc vote. But I can already see the scathing headlines, the outpour of contempt and nasty comments if Anwar had led Harapan to oppose the budget without having secured the majority votes.

The opposition would have registered their protest, but with all Umno MPs supporting Muhyiddin, the budget would have passed. Frankly, either way, Anwar would be blamed, mocked and excoriated. The comments here bear this out.

The unhappiness is palpable and understandable. But I think and hope when the disappointment subsides, supporters of the opposition will be mature enough to see the alternative road. To fight tactically. To accept the delay in anticipation of a bigger, better win.

Our much-maligned MPs are counting on this.

RedShark6167: If the budget was voted down on Thursday even without PN getting the majority vote, there is no way the PM and gang would step down graciously.

The most likely scenario would be an emergency granted by the Agong for the whole country and Muhyiddin would have absolute power, without having to be answerable to the Parliament.

Now at least there is a chance for a detailed scrutiny of every ministry’s budget and Harapan can list their objections.

They can then request for changes, failing which they can vote it down in the final round on Dec 17. Then the rakyat will better understand the reasons, rather than Harapan be accused as betrayers of the Agong's message.

Mugi: Loke, those issues that DAP can accept and agree upon in the proposed Budget 2021 should have been articulated before the vote on Nov 26; while those issues that DAP wants fine-tuning or rejected outright should be on the table, like what former PM Najib Abdul Razak did.

Najib harped on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Account 1 withdrawal and loan moratorium. Muhyiddin met him halfway.

Now, you and DAP have to work harder in the final round of the budget approval process, the third reading. I wish you lots of luck.

Proarte: The issue at hand is this - would we prefer Muhyiddin to fall and force an election during a surge in the Covid-19 pandemic? From the Sabah experience, having a general election would be a national disaster waiting to happen.

Furthermore, it is likely that PN will win if there is an election, with the possibility of Bossku's faction (Najib) coming back to power. This would be an even worse disaster than having Muhyiddin in charge.

The opposition is not fit to take over at this moment as they, too, are clueless about how to govern unflinchingly according to principle and integrity. Proof of this is the opposition jettisoning its 2018 election manifesto and became a poodle of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who eventually engineered their collapse.

The current political mess we are in was caused by the opposition. Even when they are out of office, politicians like Loke seem to be supporting the very people who contributed to the collapse of the Harapan government. Are there trojans and turncoats still within DAP and PKR? The rakyat need convincing that this is not the case.

It would appear PKR, DAP and Amanah are in disarray and are not on the same page in terms of strategy or ideology. As a coalition, they are not fit to take over as yet. They must reinvent themselves and use the next 2.5 years to formulate a realistic and honest manifesto to present to the rakyat.

Reinventing themselves is vital as the old formula has failed them. Amanah members defecting to PKR might not be so bad a thing because I feel the opposition should speak with one voice.

DAP and PKR should seriously consider merging so as to get rid of the internecine rivalry between the parties who ostensibly want good governance and a civilised democracy to be realised in Malaysia.

What are the ideological differences among the parties which prevent them from merging and speaking with one voice? Is it true then that DAP is essentially a 'Chinese' party, PKR a 'Malay' party and Amanah an 'Islamic' party?

We cannot hope to build a 'New Malaysia' if the opposition is divided along racial, cultural and religious lines. This is something DAP leader Lim Guan Eng and Anwar must consider - the merging of their parties to give the rakyat a new and formidable alternative - an alternative based on justice, unity and equality.

Malaysians want change, as the 2018 general election clearly showed, but the self-serving politicians in PKR and DAP are holding us back.

Justice Now: I think we should give Harapan the benefit of a doubt because they are not unthinking people and they have a strategy. We should let them go through the game plan before judging them too harshly.

The budget can still be rejected during the final vote. If the objective is not to change the government, then there are merits to what Harapan is doing. If they cannot change things at committee stage, then they can still vote against the budget. - Mkini

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