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Tag: BN (page 1 of 3)

Pakatan Harapan Vote Ambush

At 8.20 pm Pakatan Harapan MPs, together with Warisan ambushed UMNO BN on the vote of the Domestic Trade Ministry budget. The vote strategy was formed during the PKR pre-counsel meeting last week. The idea originated and was executed by YB Manivannan (PKR MP for Kapar) and endorsed by YB Dato Johari Abdul (PKR Chief Whip of Sungai Petani). Party whips from DAP, Amanah, Bersatu and Warisan were then brought into the loop and coordinated.

We decided to send a strong message to the minister that the rakyat is suffering high cost of living and oil prices, which is under the purview of his ministry.

When the bell was rung for a vote, we clearly outnumbered UMNO BN by 7 votes. The counting process started and the counting forms were eventually signed. After that point, other UMNO BN MPs and ministers rushed in and the signed documents were retracted. The process delayed further until they had enough numbers. This is a blatant abuse of the counting process. One of the MP jokingly warned the Speaker not to “turn off the lights” and fix the vote. To add fuel to our anger, and despite our strong protests, the Domestic Trade minister can be seen in the counting area to “supervise” the vote count. The counting process took an inordinate long 15 minutes to count.

The final outcome was 52 for UMNO BN and 51 for Pakatan Harapan.

Ultimately UMNO BN was saved by two senior PAS leaders who abstained from voting. The two senior PAS leaders are Ustaz Idris Ahmad of Bukit Gantang (vice president of PAS) and Hajjah Siti Zailah of Rantau Panjang (head of Kelantan PAS women wing). Once more PAS senior leaders showed their true colours that they are 100% pro UMNO BN. In a surprise move, six of the PAS junior backbenchers voted with us against UMNO BN. One of them explained to me that the high cost of living is a rakyat issue and as such he will vote with his conscience. The message is loud and clear, prepare for 3 corner fights so long as pro UMNO leaders are in charge of PAS.

After the vote was read, we demanded an explanation from the Speaker. Our legitimate protests were dismissed. The hall broke into a chant “TIPU! TIPU! TIPU!”. We walked out en mass and gave a press conference.

If they can blatantly influence the vote in the Dewan, what more in the counting halls of GE14. I therefore appeal to all my readers to become Polling and Counting Agents and protect our ballot boxes.

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Alternative Budget 2018 Launch

Good morning. This is Budget Day and MPs will be heading to Parliament around 2 pm. The finance minister will read the budget speech at 3.30 pm. As usual there will be 4 sets of documents; economic report, budget document, federal revenue report and finance minister text.

During and after the budget speech, I will be posting up views via Facebook. I have also been asked by ntv 7 to air some views. Then at 8.30 pm, I will be back at INVOKE Malaysia with Rafizi Ramli and Tony Pua to shoot a livestream of our budget reactions. So stay tuned for that.

The entire weekend will then be spent reading and analysing the budget documents and my officers and interns will join Leader of the Opposition, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her team to prepare the very important Budget Reply.

The Budget Reply slated for next Monday at 11.30 am, is a formal Parliamentary event and Dato Seri Wan Azizah’s speech is expected to take about 1.5 hours. In all Westminster based Parliament, the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and key cabinet members are required to attend, but not in Malaysia. Last year’s attendance to the Budget Reply from UMNO BN cabinet was close to zero. The non-attendance reflects badly on UMNO BN but they seem to be absolutely shameless.

This culture of ponteng in Parliament is deeply ingrained and reflects the attitude of UMNO BN leaders treating Parliament as a rubber stamp. So far in the first 4 days of Parliament, Najib Razak leads in ponteng; he has yet to come into the Parliament hall. In contrast, his deputy Zahid Hamidi has made 3 appearances to answer questions as home minister.

An Alternative Budget Story: Attacks from the Press

Hello from Parliament.

This morning I gave an interview on BFM regarding the Pakatan Harapan Budget. The interview took place from 8.30 am to 9 am. Thereafter I also released a press statement replying to Mustapha Mohamed’s baseless comments.

While the attacks from pro BN newspapers and media continues, the more neutral papers have been kinder in coverage of the Pakatan Harapan budget. Kudos to the Financial Daily/Edge who gave a factual and comprehensive reporting (see attached article). Meanwhile Sinar Harian gave us a wondeful front page headline of “Bajet Harapan”.

 

Toilet Break in Parliament (?)

A fiasco in Parliament at around 3 pm when the Deputy Minister failed to get a seconder in order to table the intellectual property bill. No UMNO-BN minister was on hand to second the bill, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the sitting. The UMNO BN MPs then scrambled to look for any available UMNO BN minister to do the job. In my almost 5 years of being in Parliament, this has to be the biggest joke ever! See pic below on how empty the hall was on the UMNO BN side.

Some 10 minutes later, a couple of deputy ministers were brought in. The Speaker then came in at 3.12 pm to cheers from the Opposition. The Speaker then sportingly joked that the real reason he adjourned the sitting was because he had to go to the toilet. To which, the Opposition MPs broke into full laughter.

Victory is Ours!

The Employment Insurance System bill is expected to be re-tabled again on 24th October 2017, with one major amendment; a 60% reduction in the insurance premium to be paid by workers. This amendment is a major victory for my office who fought the original bill.

Recall that in the last July to August Parliament sitting, my office took on the ministry and broke the story that the insurance premium was ridiculously high. Our math showed that the original proposed premium was more than double what is fair. Note that while the BN government proposed this scheme, it doesn’t have to contribute a single sen. The insurance premium is to be paid by the workers and their employers only. So this was a clear cut case of “harap pagar, pagar makan padi”. Essentially, the BN government, instead of really protecting workers, tried to overcharge 6 million lower income workers and their employers. My office fought hard and the BN government backed down and eventually withdrew the bill. I was later informed by some ministers that they looked at and agreed with my numbers.

Anyhow, I am glad that the insurance premium is now at a more reasonable level and that being the case, I will support this new amended bill. The key lesson for all Opposition MPs is that despite all the odds against us, we can still make a difference and we can stop the government from steamrolling every single law. We have to persevere and we have to carefully read the legislations. We have to do the math and we have to pursue alternative policies.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/…/minister-employee-insur…/