Budget 2021 crucial to ensure smooth public service delivery

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By Hasnah Jusid

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — The approval of Budget 2021 by the Dewan Rakyat is crucial not only to ensure that civil servants get their salaries but also for the smooth delivery of public service.

Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Adnan Mat said civil servants now have two essential tasks, namely to ensure efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are successfully implemented and that the country’s economic recovery is carried out according to plan.

“If the budget is not approved, it’s like sending civil servants to war without sufficient equipment and weapons. In the end, all our efforts and hard work would not produce the desired results.

“The people will also be affected as their safety, well-being and economy depend on the country’s success, free from COVID-19,” he told Bernama.

Several elected representatives have set some conditions for supporting the budget, which was tabled in Parliament on Nov 6.

Adnan said if the budget continued to be politicised by all parties, it would definitely affect public service delivery, especially in helping the people to overcome the economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Therefore, he hoped that all parties regardless of political beliefs could find common ground to address the issue by prioritising the people’s interests.

“The people are the priority because everyone is affected by the spread of COVID-19. If the public service is affected by Budget 2021, it can also affect the whole country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Head of Governance and Integrity Cluster at the Centre for Government Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Prof Dr Ahmad Martadha Mohamed said if Budget 2021 was not approved, it would cripple the government machinery and the governance system could not be implemented.

“This is because the government will not have financial resources for next year, and that is why the King has urged all Members of Parliament to ensure that Budget 2021 is approved without any problem.

“Although some of them disagree with some of the budget proposals, they have to look at it in a bigger context because if the government did not get the approval for Budget 2021, it will cripple the government administration,” he added.

If this happens, he said, it would definitely affect the people, especially when the country is grappling with COVID-19, which requires the Health Ministry to be given a large allocation to break the chain of infection.

“Several other government agencies are also responsible for reviving the country’s economy, which has been badly affected by the pandemic,” Ahmad Martadha said.

On Nov 6, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz had tabled the country’s biggest ever budget of RM322.5 billion. – BERNAMA

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