Dr M refutes finance minister’s prognosis if Budget 2021 fails, points to another way to pay civil servants

21-Nov-2020 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today dismissed claims that civil servants and Covid-19 frontliners won’t be paid if the Perikatan Nasional’s Budget 2021 is not approved in Parliament.

The former prime minister asserted that the government can obtain a preliminary allocation for emoluments that would cover the monthly salaries and payment for the civil workforce next year, amid a current stalemate over the proposed Budget.

“There is no basis at all for the minister of Finance and any government leader to threaten MPs to support the 2021 Budget on the grounds that if the Budget is rejected, civil servants and frontliners will not receive salaries, pensions and allowances,” Dr Mahathir said in a statement.

Finance minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz claimed that government commitments would not be fulfilled if the RM322.5 billion Budget 2021 tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on November 6 were not approved this year.

Dr Mahathir pointed to his own Budget experience in government when Barisan Nasional was in power back in 1999.

The two-time former PM related that the Budget 2000, which was tabled in October 1999, did not continue into the debate phase as Parliament was dissolved in November that year for the 10th general election.

“After the election, the government with the new mandate received the approval of the Dewan Rakyat for the preliminary allocation for government spending for two or three months while waiting for the Special Budget Conference to be held in February 2000,” he said.

He said this preliminary provision ensured that administrative expenses, including the salaries, pensions and allowances of civil servants, were not disrupted.

“This provision also included payment for other additional expenditure either for Ministries or to ease the lives of the people,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said Tengku Zafrul’s statement was meant to restrain MPs from ensuring that the Budget is for the interests of the people, and implied that the people and government servants would suffer if the Budget was rejected.

He said this would mean that MPs would need to give a “blank cheque” support for the Budget despite its inherent flaws.

“I hope that the minister of Finance and the government leaders who are in the throes of losing power will stop issuing baseless statements, which intimidates the public solely for their political survival,” the Langkawi MP said.



Category: Malaysia

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