In the final vote today, Malaysia’s opposition was predicted to oppose the federal budget

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The Malaysian opposition, led by Anwar Ibrahim, plans to oppose Budget 2021 during today’s third and final voting session, two weeks after discussions began at the committee level.

In a statement yesterday, the Pakatan Harapan said they believe that the budget leaves much to be desired, especially in areas involving education and frontline workers’ additional income.

“Budget 2021 does not satisfy what many MPs and their people have been promised. This involves increased support for front-line workers, education, and others who have lost their jobs or decreased their incomes because of the pandemic, and many others,’ the statement said.

“The National Alliance, or PH, would like to encourage all MPs to realize that Budget 2021 does not meet the objectives of fighting COVID-19, helping people, and reviving the economy, whether you are part of the government or the opposition.”

If approved, the 2021 federal budget, proposed by Minister of Finance Zafrul Aziz, will be the highest in Malaysia as it plans to set aside RM322.5 billion (US$80 billion). Of which to deal with infectious diseases not limited to COVID-19, RM830 million will be channeled to the Ministry of Health. Zafrul had said that the country’s coronavirus vaccines would cost RM3 billion, but did not state how this would be funded by the budget. “PH hopes that in the third vote tomorrow, MPs will decide to reject the 2021 budget,” the statement added yesterday. It was signed by the People’s Justice Party’s Saifuddin Nasution, Hatta Ramli of Amanah, and the Democratic Action Party’s former transport minister, Anthony Loke.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and 12 others had already expressed their displeasure with the budget in the first round of votes last month by opposing it back in November at the policy level. Mahathir said that the people were not prioritized by the budget

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