Govt backbencher: Penang Opposition should come up with alternative budget next year

Opalyn Mok
Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said Penang Opposition leaders should come up with an alternative budget so that it can be compared with the state budget for 2022.― Picture by Miera Zulyana

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 4 — Penang Opposition leaders should come up with an alternative budget so that it can be compared with the state budget for 2022, a backbencher said today.

Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PKR — Pantai Jerejak) said Opposition leader Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor (BN — Sungai Dua) has come up with many ideas, recommendations, criticisms and proposals when debating the Supply Bill at the legislative assembly earlier today.

“He could put his proposals, ideas and recommendations to good use next year by coming up with an alternative budget for 2022 next year,” he said when debating the Supply Bill today.

He said the Opposition can reveal the alternative budget before the state budget was announced.

“This is so that during the debate on the budget, the Opposition’s alternative budget can be compared to the state budget and our debate will be one on comparing policies between the state and the Opposition,” he said.

Saifuddin said Yusoff is an experienced politician so he would have been able to formulate an alternative budget that would be worth debating and comparing with the state budget.

“The debate in the House would be on a higher level with an alternative budget to compare with the state budget and we would be comparing policies instead of discussing other sensitive issues that touched on other sentiments,” he said.

He added that he did not understand why the Opposition did not come up with an alternative budget.

Saifuddin said not having enough assemblymen in the opposition front was not an excuse as they are made up of professionals with experience.

“If they do not have enough information, they can make their own estimations, I am sure PAS and Umno can do this,” he said.

He said Pakatan Harapan used to present its alternative budget before the actual Budget announcement by the federal government.

“At one point, it was the Opposition’s budget that was being debated in Parliament instead of the Budget,” he said.

He said it would be healthier to discuss and compare policies in the August House.

There are only two Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen and one PAS assemblyman in the Penang state legislative assembly.

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