Has Najib no respect for Parliament? Insulting the oppositions during budget

As Prime Minister as well as Finance Minister, he must be responsible enough to attend the debate on Budget 2013.
PETALING JAYA: The national budget is so important that the Federal Constitution requires a fresh election if the government of the day fails to get majority support for it.
Today is the first day of Parliamentary debate for Budget 2013, but Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and senior cabinet members are missing from the Dewan Rakyat, leaving only the ruling coalition’s backbenchers to represent them.
This is nothing short of contempt of Parliament.
Worse , Najib used the weekend to criticise Pakatan Rakyat’s shadow budget and even said that the opposition’s Buku Jingga was not worth the paper it was printed on.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, a former finance minister, was appalled by the situation and he has made his anger known.
Indeed, the entire nation should be appalled.
With the entire government machinery behind him and the mainstream media to carry his statements without rebuttal, it is convenient and easy for Najib to insult the opposition.
But the true mark of a man, in this case a national leader, is how he is able to convince others of the excellence of his decisions against opposing opinions.
Najib, especially since he is also the Finance Minister, must be responsible enough to sit in the Dewan Rakyat and defend the budget against Pakatan lawmakers.
It is not only about engaging opposition lawmakers, who are also mandated by the rakyat, but also about being responsible enough to explain his decisions for Budget 2013.
The opposition MPs may point out some flaws in the policy that may have escaped government scrutiny, and the ministers, being absent, are guilty of gross negligence.
If the Finance Minister himself is absent from Parliament, how is he to note the points mentioned by Pakatan lawmakers? Did Najib ask any of the backbenchers to take notes and deliver them to him?
Worse, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia is keeping silent about this instead of rebuking the Finance Minister.
Some may argue that Najib is a busy man, being Prime Minister as well as Finance Minister and Women’s Minister. True indeed, but no one forced him to shoulder those additional burdens.
Najib and the other ministers need to get their acts together and respect the House. The budget is an important piece of document and it must be debated thoroughly to ensure every issue is addressed.
If Najib thinks he has no time to debate the budget he himself presented, perhaps he should relinquish the Finance Minister’s post to someone who has the time.

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