Federal Minister Salleh Said Keruak has blasted the opposition of having a low mentality and turning the noble House of Parliament into a circus.
He said the walkout staged by opposition MPs halfway during tabling of Budget 2017 by Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday, has exposed the low level of maturity among the opposition elected representatives.
“The level of maturity of the opposition MPs has sunk to an all-time low. Must everything be turned into a protest demonstration?” asked the Communications and Multimedia Minister in his blog posting today.
He said instead of walking out halfway through the budget presentation, the opposition MPs should have at least waited till it was over and debated the budget first.
He reminded the rebelling parliamentarians that the tabling of annual budget was serious business and an important matter of public matter.
He said it was an opportunity for the opposition MPs to participate in the budget and present their ideas to Parliament if they felt they have any.
But, he said instead of seeing how they can contribute some ideas, the opposition MPs walked out of Parliament and held a demonstration.
“It is bad enough that the opposition does not have a shadow cabinet and shadow Finance Minister. Now the opposition wants to treat Parliament like a circus,” said Salleh, who is also Umno treasurer.
The opposition lawmakers staged the walkout during the budget session at about 6.10pm on Friday to stage a protest and demanded to know ‘Who is MO1’ outside the Parliament lobby.
The protest team was led by Pagoh MP and Pribumi president Muhyidin Yassin, together with DAP’s Lim Kit Siang (Gelang Patah), Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong); PKR’s Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Permatang Pauh) and Nurul Izzah (Lembah Pantai); and other opposition lawmakers.
Instead of trying to give excuses as to why the walkout and demonstration was justified, Salleh said the opposition should focus on details of the budget to debate.
“Actually, even if you want to oppose parts of Budget 2017 just for the sake of opposing, which is what the opposition always seems to do, there are many good parts in that budget and we must commend Najib for his work and effort at achieving a fair and balance budget,” said the minister.
He cited an example of the fiscal deficit target of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) was better than that of the US, UK and Japan.
Yet, he said the opposition said the budget was not realistic and that Malaysia does not have the money to make Budget 2017 happen.
He said Malaysia’s targeted GDP growth of 4%-5% was better than that of UK, US, Germany and Japan.
He said that this would be achieved against the backdrop of a drop of about RM30 billion in oil revenue, adding that the opposition was making it appear like the drop in oil revenue as the fault of Prime Minister Najib.
He said that the opposition walkout was planned to make Budget 2017 look bad.
“But have you noticed that they avoid talking about the details of the budget?
“They just generalise and talk as if the budget is absolutely hopeless and does not even need discussing,” said Salleh, slamming the opposition for doing a great disservice to the voters who had sent them to Parliament.
“The protest was planned and not spontaneous like the opposition claims because they came prepared with placards.”