KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s speaker of parliament declared the 2023 Budget passed at the policy stage on Thursday (Mar 9).
The budget was passed with a majority voice vote.
The 2023 budget is the first budget tabled by the government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the country’s finance minister.
When the vote was called, most of the lawmakers from parties within Mr Anwar’s unity government were present. In comparison, only a handful of MPs from the opposition Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition were seen in parliament.
PN leaders, including Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin as well as Parti Islam Se-Malaysia president Abdul Hadi Awang were not present in the parliament when the vote was called.
In his speech wrapping up the budget debate on Thursday, Mr Anwar reiterated the government’s commitment to reduce national debt and aid those in poverty.
He also rebuffed comments by opposition MPs that some of the policies were unfair towards residents living in states controlled by PN.
“Believe me, I will ensure that the entire government machinery is focused on eradicating poverty from this year on,” said Mr Anwar.
“They (PN) were in government for three years. Look at the three budgets that they presented, the budget which I have tabled is way better than any of the budgets they put forth, including for the (opposition controlled) states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis and Kedah. So to say we are evil is just not right.”
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