Dewan Rakyat approves in principle bill on 2020 Budget

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 5): The Dewan Rakyat has approved in principle the Supply Bill 2020, which outlines the 2020 Budget, after 12 days of debate since Oct 14.

This was announced by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, after the bill was passed unanimously yesterday via a voice vote.

“The government wants to continue efforts to make Malaysia not only prosperous but also safe and secure, whereby the rights of all citizens are respected without divisions being created through racist sentiment or extremism instigated by certain parties.

“We must remember that Malaysia is for all Malaysians; there is no inequality or discrimination. By being united, we can achieve shared prosperity,” he said in winding up the debate on the bill at the Dewan Rakyat.

Earlier, during the winding-up session, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Pakatan Harapan government targeted to reduce the national debt ratio to 65% of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023.

“We hope to reduce the direct debt as much as possible, from 77% of GDP at present. If we could reach that level, it would be something positive.

“Most importantly, although the government has openly disclosed the direct debt situation at the international level, the country's credit ratings have remained intact. That is something good,” he said.

He stressed that this was because credit rating agencies understood and were confident of the government's commitment in terms of institutional reforms to increase transparency and deal with various scandals such as 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Lim was replying to a supplementary question from former prime minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (BN-Pekan) on the forecast for the national debt by the end of the current PH administration period, which is 2023.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting resumes on Tuesday at 10am.

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