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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Budget 2014 goes through after month-long discussion

Published: Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 9:05:00 AM

BUDGET 2014, worth RM46.5bil, was passed yesterday.

The Supply Bill went through after a voice vote was taken among the MPs, whereby the voice supporting the bill was louder than the dissenting one.

Wrapping up points raised during the Budget debate was Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Twenty-four ministries, including the Prime Minister’s Department, took part in the debate, which saw fiery exchanges and discussions among the MPs for more than a month.

On Oct 25, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tabled Budget 2014, which included the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), abolition of sugar subsidy, 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) and higher property taxes.

Earlier, the tabling of the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on the National Feedlot Corpo­ra­tion (NFCorp) scandal had to be delayed because of concerns that it may be sub judice since the case was in court.

The report was supposed to be tabled yesterday.

PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad gave assurance that the report would be tabled in Parliament.

He added that the Speaker would decide on the date.

“It may be by this week or during the next Dewan Rakyat meeting in March next year,” he said at a press conference at the Parliament building.

The Auditor-General’s 2010 report highlighted the NFCorp’s failure to achieve its target of 8,000 heads of cattle that year.

The RM74mil centre in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, only achieved 3,289 heads of cattle or 41% of the target.

At a separate press conference, Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang, the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on corruption, said the formation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Services Commission required support from two-thirds of the MPs because it involved changes to the Federal Constitution.

“I call on all MPs, especially Opposition MPs, to lend their support.

“Nobody should politicise the setting up of this commission as it is for the good of all,” he said.

The commission would be empowered to recruit, appoint, promote and terminate the services of MACC officers.

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