Dr M: Zahid can say what he wants, he is no longer in power

SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today brushed aside criticism by the opposition that Pakatan Harapan’s maiden national budget is a copy-and-paste work.

He was responding to remarks by opposition leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs yesterday.

“He (Zahid) can say whatever he wants because he is no longer in power. We do not owe billions in ringgit,” he told reporters after a “Gaya Hidup Sihat” event at the Setia City Convention Centre here today. He was alluding to the debts accrued during BN’s rule.

Also present were Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad and his deputy Lee Boon Chye.

To criticisms by PAS MPs that the federal government had abandoned Kelantan and Terengganu in its budget, Mahathir had this to say: “We have programmes. We will give money to Kelantan.”

However, he did not elaborate on whether it is cash or royalties.

Zahid reportedly said the budget for 2019, tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, has no “goodies” for the people, but is only focused on government revenue.

He said the opposition as a whole rejected the budget, adding the budget is more beneficial to the government than the people.

Other Umno MPs were of the view that the budget was a copy-and-paste work, stating that what was announced was merely a continuation of the programmes BN had done in the past.

PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and its Tumpat MP Che Abdullah Md Nawi said it was unfair that the PH government had ignored Kelantan and Terengganu in the budget.

Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari was similarly upset that there was no Kelantan-specific project although Lim himself had said last week that it was a “poor and failed state”.