RM322.5 billion federal budget was passed in Parliament after weeks of debates.
The 2021 Supply Bill or Budget 2021 was passed after its third and final reading in Parliament today (15 December).
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun called for a block vote after more than 15 Members of Parliament (MP) stood in request. The bill initially passed with a vote of 111 for, 108 against and one absent.
The Supply Bill was the first Malaysian budget in which Opposition members were consulted by the government in the run-up to the budget presentation.
Budget 2021 was passed by a voice vote at the second reading in Parliament on 26 November, with the Opposition failing to block it nor muster the necessary 15 Members of Parliament to ask for bloc voting.
This came as a shock as the Opposition, led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, had spent weeks voicing their displeasure over the budget.
Anwar Ibrahim later said he instructed Opposition MPs to allow Budget 2021 to pass at the policy stage as he did not want to be seen as blocking aid and concessions announced by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Before the final vote, The Star reported that Pakatan Harapan had called on all parliamentarians on both sides of the political divide to reject Budget 2021 when the Supply Bill goes for the third reading in the Dewan Rakyat.
The Opposition coalition claimed the Budget did not meet the objectives and goals to fight Covid-19, to help the people and to revive the economy.
Budget 2021 will now move forward to the Dewan Negara before the bill comes into full effect next year.
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