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Budget 2017 Policy Stage Ends With Shouting Over 1MDB

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KUALA LUMPUR – The policy stage of Budget 2017 ended with shouting after Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani (pic) was pressed with questions on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) by Opposition lawmakers.

Johari said he could only answer based on what he knew of 1MDB, and declined to comment on questions of the police investigation.

Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) had earlier asked Johari on the status and details of the investigation into 1MDB.

“The Home Minister said that the question will be answered by the Minister (Finance Minister). So did the Home Minister lie in the Dewan? He said the Minister will answer,” said Gobind on Monday night, referring to Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Johari replied by saying that he was aware of the police investigation but did not know the details.

“I am here to answer questions on the Budget but not on the issue of the police investigation, which I am not privy to,” he said.

A bloc vote was then called with 117 voting in favour of the Budget being passed at the policy stage.

Eleven PAS MPs abstained from while 70 MPs voted against.

Datuk Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) voted in favour.

Marang MP Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Dungun MP Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli were absent from Parliament.

PAS information chief Nasaruddin Hassan Tantawi explained that 11 party members had abstained from voting as there were some aspects of Budget 2017 they were agreeable too.

“Yes we opposed many aspects like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and issues relating to 1MDB, but there are also many other allocations which are useful for the people,” he said.

The Temerloh MP, however, said the party would discuss its decision again ahead of the committee voting stage.

Debates for the committee stage resume on Tuesday. – The Star Online

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