Parliament: No confidence vote, Jasa allocation among hot topics this week

Kuala Lumpur – The motion for a vote of no-confidence and the allocation of several ministries passed at the committee stage through bloc voting were the focus of the Dewan Rakyat sitting this week.

Following the political crisis in Perak which saw Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu‘s resignation after failing to garner majority support in a vote of confidence in the state legislative assembly, lawmakers from the Opposition bloc also raised a similar motion against the Prime Minister in the Dewan Rakyat.

The opposition MPs tried to take the political situation in Perak as a precedent to expedite the tabling of 25 motions on the vote of no-confidence and two motions on the vote of confidence against the Prime Minister which have been listed in the Order of the Meeting.

The matter was first raised by RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) and Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru) before the debate and winding up of the Supply Bill 2021 at the committee stage last Tuesday, and was raised once again by Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) during the Ministers’ Question Time yesterday.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan responded by saying that the motions listed as the 26th item and 27th item in the Order Paper were not matters that need to be expedited.

“I would like to clarify that we are subject to Standing Orders 14 and 15 (1) that clearly state that government business should take precedence over other businesses as there is no indication that Yang Berhormat Pagoh has lost the support.

Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun meanwhile urged the MPs to refer to the practice of the Westminster Convention followed by this country adding that the Speaker has no power to bring forward the motion of no-confidence to number one (in the Order Paper).

The Dewan Rakyat sitting also saw the budget allocation for 11ministries debated and approved at the committee level, with four of them passed via bloc voting and all had the support of over 100 MPs.

On Monday the committee-level Supply Bill 2021 for the Ministry of Transport was approved through bloc voting which saw 109 MPs in favour, 94 against and 17 absent, while on Tuesday the allocation for the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry saw 109 MPs in favour, 96 against and 15 absent.

Also passed via bloc voting were the allocation for the Housing and Local Government Ministry (106 MPs voted for it; 96 against with 18 absent) and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia was passed with (107 against 100 and 13 absent).

The budget allocation for seven ministries namely the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation; Works Ministry; Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development; Ministry of Environment and Water; Health Ministry; Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Human Resources were approved by a majority vote.

Budget allocations for five more ministries are scheduled to be debated and passed at the committee level in next week’s sitting.

Another issue which attracted the attention of lawmakers in the sixth week was the allocation for the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) which saw the Dewan Rakyat passed a motion to reduce the allocation for the expansion of the department by RM45 million, from RM81.5 million as originally provided in Budget 2021.

The motion to amend the allocation of RM164,151,656,800 to RM164,106,656,800 in Clause 2 of the Supply Bill 2021 was proposed by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri before the commencement of the debate at the committee level for the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM).

The Dewan Rakyat however rejected the motion proposed by five opposition MPs to scrap the allocation of RM81.5 million for Jasa’s expansion and another RM4 million for the department.

The motion was proposed by Maria Chin Abdullah (PH-Petaling Jaya); Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO-Tuaran); Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai); Fuziah Salleh (PH-Kuantan); and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (independent-Jerlun).

A motion to cut down the RM8.6 million allocation for the Penggerak Komuniti Tempatan (PeKT) under the Housing and Local Government Ministry was also rejected.

The motion was presented by four MPs comprising Chang Lih Kang (PH-Tanjong Malim). Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai), Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang), and Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (Upko-Tuaran) on the grounds that the allocation is not urgent and politically motivated. – Bernama

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