image source: the star
PETALING JAYA: Civil servants would still be paid their salaries even if Budget 2021 is not approved, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former premier said that it is untrue that should Budget 2021 be rejected, civil servants and frontliners will not receive salaries, pensions and allowances.
“When I was prime minister in 1999, a debate for the budget tabled in October did not go through as Parliament was dissolved in November of that year for the 10th General Election.
“Once the election was over, the government with the new mandate obtained approval from Dewan Rakyat to receive two or three months allocation of government expenditure while waiting for the Special Budget Conference to be held in February 2000, ” he said in a statement on Friday (Nov 20).
Dr Mahathir said the allocation had ensured that administrative expenses were uninterrupted and salaries, pensions, as well as allowances for civil servants were not affected.
“The provision also included payments for other additional allocations either for ministries or to enhance the people’s welfare, ” he added.
On Nov 15, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said that the government would not be able to carry out its commitments - including paying the salaries of civil servants and assistance for frontliners - if the 2021 Budget is not approved by the Dewan Rakyat.
“The statement is directly aimed at restraining MPs from performing their responsibility to ensure that the Budget is for the interest of the people and not the political interests of the ruling party, ” said Dr Mahathir, who is also Langkawi MP.
He added that MPs who reject the 2021 Budget would be blamed for allegedly causing the people and the civil servants to suffer.
“If that is the stand of the Finance Minister and government leaders, it means Members of Parliament need to give a ‘blank check’ and support for the approval of the Budget despite the fact that there are significant flaws in the Budget, ” he said.
Source: the star