Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Budget 2021 will only be supported if it was really a budget to help the people cope with COVID-19 and to curb the spread of the pandemic.
As such, he said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz should focus on the efforts to handle the pandemic by forgoing the allocations for mega projects.
Anwar, who is PKR president, also proposed for the allocation of RM19 billion for development to be transferred to the COVID-19 Fund.
“We ask the government to relook into this. The budget presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was COVID-19 Budget, but the COVID-19 Fund only gets 5.3 per cent of the total allocation of RM322.5 billion.
“We will only support COVID-19 Budget, nothing else,” he said when debating the Supply Bill (Budget) 2021 at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
In his debate, Anwar also touched on the issues of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal and the extension of loan moratorium, which should be given attention as they were part of the efforts to cushion the impact of COVID-19.
“These two are also serious issues…if the government wants us to consider supporting the budget, these issues must be given priority. Or else, the budget could not be approved,” he said.
Anwar also demanded the government to reconsider the amount allowed for the EPF withdrawal of RM500 per month, which he described as unreasonable for the B40 group to make ends meet.
“I propose that the amount be increased as it will only involve RM4 billion and is within our capability,” he said.
The Port Dickson MP also called on the government to cancel the proposal to revive the Special Affairs Department (JASA) and use the RM85.5 million allocation to help non-health frontliners instead.
“My sympathy goes to the Finance Minister. He is not a politician, but he wrote it down anyway. As a friend, I sympathise with him…just cancel it,” he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency