KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — The passing of the 2021 Supply Bill (Budget 2021) at policy level sees the maturity of Malaysian politics as it was heatedly debated by the government and opposition blocks before it was passed.
A fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Datuk Dr Madeline Berma said Budget 2021 tabled by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on Nov 6 showed the seriousness of the government in helping the people, business and economy in uncertain times, more so with views from various parties including the opposition being given attention.
“Budget 2021 hears the voice of the grassroots, it is just that what the opposition block disagreed maybe in terms of value, method but it (Budget 2021) was for improvement…thus we see the government and opposition doing a good job,” she said in the programme, Ruang Bicara titled “Budget 2021 at Dewan Rakyat” aired over Bernama TV yesterday.
After two weeks of debate and through four days of winding up by each ministry, the 2021 Supply Bill was passed at policy level yesterday.
Madeline said the moment Budget 2021 was passed, the index of the stock market rose to show the confidence of investors following certainty in the trajectory and harmony in the political environment.
Sharing the same view with her was National Professor Council Governance, Law and Public Management Cluster head, Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Nik Mahmod who said that the opposition block was not rejecting the budget but wanted a different voting method.
“The most important voting process is by voice (voice vote) which is to hear who said agree compared to who said disagree, ” he said.
Budget 2021 allocates RM322.5 billion, of which RM236.5 billion is provided for operating expenses, RM69 billion for development expenditure, RM17 billion for the COVID-19 Fund, and RM2 billion for contingency savings.