Opposition chief Anwar says next year's Malaysian budget should have bipartisan input

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said that opposition PKR that he leads is willing to work with any politician who works against corruption and abuse of power.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said that opposition PKR that he leads is willing to work with any politician who works against corruption and abuse of power.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Tuesday (Oct 27) that Malaysia's budget for next year should include input from the opposition as the government tries to tackle challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

He also said in a statement that opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) that he leads is willing to work with any politician who works against corruption and abuse of power.

"It (the budget) should encompass the efforts and roles of government and opposition in devising potent strategies to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment and also poverty issues," said Datuk Seri Anwar.

Budget 2021 will be unveiled in Parliament next week (Nov 6) by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, following political turmoil in the past week linked to the annual expenditure.

Fears that the Perikatan Nasional coalition led Tan Sri Muhyiddin would collapse if it doesn't have enough support in Parliament to get the Budget approved, led him to propose to the king to declare an emergency last Friday.

This would suspend parliamentary proceedings and allow the premier to push the Budget through.

But Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah on Sunday rejected the proposal for the emergency.

He instead called on politicians to reduce politicking and to focus their energies instead on tackling the surging Covid-19 cases in Malaysia.

Said Mr Anwar: "The country has been spared from a state of emergency and I am thankful to the rulers for their care in defending the rule of law from being abused.

"We must not take lightly their firm advice and warning on justice and the abuse of power. Instead, everyone should uphold it in order for the country to not fall into ruins."

The opposition chief also said: "We are willing to work with politicians who desire a system free of corruption and abuse of power." He did not elaborate.

His statement followed news on Monday that former prime minister Najib Razak, who has been convicted of corruption, had told his Umno party that it should consider working with Mr Anwar, but minus the involvement of PKR ally Democratic Action Party.

Mr Anwar has not said whether he is willing to work with Mr Najib.