Unity Budget 2021 can be realised with value added from all political parties, say analysts
A “Unity Budget”, which is being talked about now can be achieved through Budget 2021 if it takes into account the value added provided by all political parties.
A lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said suggestions and recommendations given by all political parties should be considered to get their support for Budget 2021, to be tabled this Friday (Nov 6).
“In the current situation, it is not the time to point fingers and to determine whether the government is weak or the opposition is strong, or on the clash between Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH), but the agreement between the leaders and the people should be used as a reference.
“This is to ensure that they can set aside their political differences and be together in dealing with the national crisis and to support Budget 2021, which will be a Covid-19 Unity Budget and one that brings about unity among political leaders,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
Elaborating on the proposals submitted by PN and PH to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), he said the proposals were rational and practical and could be refined and improved during the debate because the agenda is that they are for the benefit of the people.
“Budget 2021 can be a history of it being accepted by all if all parties are to heed the advice by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
“By setting aside differences, it reflects the ability of the leaders to move towards mature politics, hence, it helps to eradicate the negative image of politicians,” he added.
Sharing Pandian’s views is Dr Syahruddin Awang Ahmad, a senior lecturer and researcher at the Geo-Politics and Electoral Studies (GeoPES), Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
Syahruddin said that a ‘Unity Budget’ should reflect the cooperation between the government and the opposition to ensure the welfare and health of the people and the future development of the country are always on the right track.
“‘A Unity Budget is also a way for MPs (Members of Parliament) to respond to His Majesty’s call.
“The opportunity given by the government for the opposition leaders and leaders of political leaders to improve Budget 2021 clearly shows that the receptiveness of all parties can help to realise all efforts to help the people and the country,” he said.
Syahruddin said he believed that proposals submitted by the opposition for Budget 2021 could balance the needs of all parties, regardless of economic background and political ideologies.
“The proposals by PN and PH are more focused on helping the people who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the proposal to allow the withdrawal of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) of RM10,000 from account 1 and also efforts to ensure the economic stimulus plan, especially for petty traders and job seekers (including those recently laid off) can be the pulse of efforts to help the people cumulatively,” he added.
He suggested that the government and the opposition to compromise so that both their ideas can be realised in Budget 2021.
“Unity Budget 2021 should provide a win-win situation for all and must also have sustainable features and can be modified and improved for the coming years to revive the country’s micro and macro economy that have been severely affected,” he added.
Geostrategist and political analyst Azmi Hassan said that in a situation where the country is still facing the challenge of Covid-19, Budget 2021 should be formulated by involving the opposition and the MoF to examine the proposals submitted.
“Politicians have to accept that not all recommendations can be included in Budget 2021 due to time and financial constraints. Umno, for example, with 130 proposals, and PH, with six major proposals, it will be difficult for the finance minister to fulfil their requests although their intention is for the good of the people and the country.
“Whether the government accepts all or part of the proposal, all parties have given their commitment to improve Budget 2021. Whatever the government’s decision on the proposals submitted by them, Budget 2021 can be called a ‘Unity Budget’ , which is unique not only in Malaysia, but also globally,” he added.
Last Oct 28, the King advised MPs to support Budget 2021 for the well-being of the people and restore the country’s economy which has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Oct 31, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also called on all MPs to set aside their political differences to support Budget 2021 as various allocations are made to address Covid-19 to restore the country’s economy and for the people’s interests.
He said a form of understanding could be formulated among MPs so that the Budget could be passed with the support of both the government and opposition MPs.
(This article first appeared on The Edge Markets)