Agong praises govt's no-holds-barred approach

KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V today expressed his appreciation for the government's no-holds-barred approach in revealing the country's actual economic standing.

In his royal address during the opening ceremony of the 14th Parliament, the King welcomed the government’s approach in ensuring transparency, especially in the disclosure of the country’s financial status.

His Highness also said he welcomed the government's initiative to study and manage the country’s expenditure on all projects.

On the issue of the cost of living, the King said he supported the government’s move to zero-rate the Goods and Services Tax, stabilise petrol prices as well as provide financial assistance to lift the people's burden.

“I appreciate the people who showed their concern for the country by contributing to the ‘Tabung Harapan’ without regard to their religion, race and age,” Sultan Muhammad said in his royal address during the first meeting of the 14th Parliament here today.

The King also touched on the challenges posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“I welcome any initiative through new policies, strategies and legislative structure to tackle this challenge.

“I hope we will gain benefits not only from the economic aspect but also the social aspect and others,” said Sultan Muhammad.

The King also acknowledged the "immense contributions" by women to the country and community in various employment fields and skills.

He said women need to be empowered to continue their role in contributing to the people.

However, Sultan Muhammad stressed, the family institution still comes first.

“I am positive that the engagement of women could be expanded. Thus, there is a need to nurture their potential, skills and encourage them to continue contributing to the people,” he added.

Despite moving towards the era of modernisation, the Agong said, religion and good values must be preserved.

He urged all parties to be serious in tackling social issues and negative elements that could harm the community and country.

“In this matter, people from all walks of life, government agencies, non-governmental associations and academicians should sit together to find solutions to any emerging issues,” said the Agong.

His Majesty also welcomed the government’s move to strengthen integrity, governance and the rule of law.

“Measures that are wise will bring confidence to (our) current investors to retain their investment and attract new ones,” he said.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s, during his revelation of the RM1 trillion national debt figure, had said the figure includes total government debt, government guarantees and lease payments for public-private partnerships.

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