Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
بلنجاوان 2021: ماجوريتي دالم امنو تيدق هيراو كات-كات نجيب، زاهيد
On the 10th of November 2020, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (BN-Pekan) claimed that Barisan Nasional would only support Budget 2021 if the one-off withdrawal of up to RM10,000 from Account 1 of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the loan moratorium extension are approved.
Yesterday, he repeated the claim, saying it is now up to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to decide whether or not it will meet Barisan Nasional’s demands.
In other words, Najib, who is only chairman of the backbenchers’ club and not Barisan Nasional itself, laid two conditions on behalf of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the coalition’s real chairman.
“Our support for this budget is subject to approval of these two matters, and as such BN support for this budget is conditional,” he said.
Well, let me be the first to tell you that you can ignore just about everything Najib said. And its weird, not so much because Najib isn’t the chairman of Barisan Nasional.
It’s weird because Najib is a convicted criminal, and yet, is given the liberty to make all sorts of demands in Parliament, on behalf of a suspected criminal who no longer wields influence over UMNO.
That is to say, whatever Zahid says or does not say no longer impacts on the majority in UMNO, as most Members of Parliament and division leaders view Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to be the party’s de facto president.
They may be silent for now, but that silence won’t hold. As it is, many Members of Parliament do not approve of many things, among them being the RM85.5 million allocation to JASA.
Many are also opposed to the RM400 million set aside to abolish the interests incurred by Felda settlers, which, as Finace Twitter put it, is actually “a bailout package after the Malay settlers were screwed by Najib and his gang members.”
There is a laundry list of budget allocations that has become a cause for concern for many UMNO Members of Parliament, and they couldn’t give a hoot what Najib has to say.
At the end of the day, it is incumbent upon each Member of Parliament to vote for or against the Budget based on his (or her) own assessment of the Supply Bill as a Member of Parliament, not as a party member.
Najib of all people should realise this.
But not only does he seem oblivious to this well-known fact, apart from the occasional ‘jab’ here and there, he does not seem too concerned about the RM85.5 million allocation to JASA.
Could it be that quietly, he wants the allocation to go through so that JASA can make up for the ‘lost’ years in which it got nothing?
Could it be that his people have some ‘monetary claims’ to be made?