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Opposition wants finance minister to table new budget

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 Oct 2008: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Permatang Pauh) today asked Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to table a new budget or make amendments to the original before it is debated in the Dewan Rakyat.

According to him, the budget tabled by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was also Finance Minister then (in August), was no longer relevant as a result of the financial crisis the world and Malaysia was facing now.

Debating the Supply Bill 2009, Anwar asked the government to gather together the top economic experts in the country, especially from the Treasury, Economic Planning Unit and Bank Negara, to review the situation and put the economy back on track.

“It’s not that we (opposition) want to reject the budget that has been tabled but only want the figures to be relooked, and I know, those who came up with the figures are prepared to do it,” said Anwar, who himself was a finance minister once.

He then asked Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar whether he should continue with the debate to which Wan Junaidi replied in the affirmative and invited the opposition to table an alternative budget later if they had one.

Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) next joined the fray and asked for the current debate on the budget be adjourned until a new budget was presented.

The Deputy Speaker overruled his request.

Anwar, while debating the same Bill, had also praised Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s plans to reform the judiciary, Anti-Corruption Agency and the police force before stepping down as Prime Minister in March next year.

“I agree the reforms must be made and quickly,” he said.

The Dewan sits again tomorrow. — Bernama


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