Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad reminded the government to stop issuing baseless statements to intimidate the people for political gain.
Mahathir said this as a comment on Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s statement that the government would not be able to pay all its commitments.
He said this is including the payment of salaries of civil servants and frontline workers who fought hard against Covid-19 if the 2021 Budget was not approved in the Dewan Rakyat.
“The Minister of Finance and other government leaders are very irresponsible by issuing statements that are clearly threatening to pressure MPs to approve the 2021 Budget even though it is a budget that has many shortcomings and disadvantages.
“The statement directly aims to prevent MPs from carrying out their responsibilities to ensure that the budget is in the interest of the people, not the political interests of the ruling party,” he said in a statement.
He said Zafrul’s statement also described all MPs having to give “blank checks” and support budget approval even if there are obvious defects in it.
He said it was completely unfounded for the finance minister and any government leader to threaten MPs to support the 2021 Budget on the grounds that if it was rejected, civil servants and frontline workers would not receive salaries.
This is not true at all. When I was prime minister in 1999, the 2000 Budget tabled in October did not continue its debate because Parliament was dissolved in Nov of that year for the 10th general election.
“After the election is over, the government with the new mandate got the approval of the Dewan Rakyat to obtain the initial allocation for government spending for 2-3 months while waiting for the special budget conference to be held in February 2000,” he said.
Commenting on the passing of his friend, Kedah political figure who is also UMNO veteran, Tan Sri Khalid Abdullah, Mahathir said now he is all alone.
Dr Mahathir expressed that feeling through the latest post in his official blog.
Khalid, 98, also known as Khalid Julong, died at 5.50am yesterday, after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Kedah Medical Center (KMC) since last Sunday.
He said that Khalid would end with the departure of a generation of French fighters.
“Khalid, Azahari Taib, Khir Johari, Khir Pa ‘Awang, Hj Taha, Chegu Senu and others are no more.
“I live alone. I am sad. They are all old friends. I am lonely,” he said.
Recalling his memories with Khalid, Dr Mahathir said, he met and sided with Khalid in the political arena as soon as the Second World War ended.
“We are in Sabrakas (Cooperative Am Saiburi mean mean people of Kedah Cooperation Association), a group of Malays who have the awareness of the people.
“The British are planning to seize the Malay states to become their colony. Malayan Union will end the existence of the Malays in Malaya them.
“I pray that the soul of the late Khalid Julong will be blessed by Allah SWT,” he said.
20th November 2020 20:54
This article brought to you by Legacy Times 传城时代