Al-Sultan Abdullah: Constant changes in government "wasteful" for Malaysia [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has described the constant change in government over the last five years as a process which was "extremely wasteful" for Malaysia.

Progress and political stability, he said, would be hard to attain if the government administration isn't allowed to see through its five-year term and is changed every one to two years.

"I do not wish to deny any political parties. But the experience of changing governments (mid-term) is a process which is extremely wasteful for the country.

"I had four prime ministers during my five years as the King. That was the biggest challenge I had to face. I had to work towards calming down the country as well as maintain harmony and stability, even until now.

"Running a country is not easy. Changes (in administration) should not be done at anyone's whims and fancies as it does not benefit the people and the nation's finances.

"We already have a democratic process which states that every five years, the people can choose a new government via an election. So let the government we have now see its term through instead of just one or two years before being changed yet again," he said.

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Al- Sultan Abdullah said the people also have to give the government enough time to prove its effectiveness.

"Changing the prime minister each year with a new cabinet promises nothing. This was what I experienced. The people have to give the government time before assessing the administration's effectiveness, not just a year or two before questioning their performance.

"What can we achieve in a year? If we change governments. there will be a host of changes involving policies and administrative patterns which would then slow down the management process," he said.

Malaysia, he said, needs to be more competitive so it isn't left behind by its competitors.

"Foreign investors will see these as signs of instability, which would make them afraid to invest in Malaysia, at a time when we need them to open up more job opportunities for our people," he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said the people need to understand the need for political stability as part of the long-term plan to spur greater economic development.

"Major investors will only set up base here if the situation is conducive. If there is no foreign investment, we will lose out on many things, including tax revenue.

Al-Sultan Abdullah was also asked to elaborate on the idea of the Unity Government.

He said the idea was not a new one, and was first floated during when Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was prime minister.

The King said, after the 15th General Election, he had summoned political leaders and wanted them to form a Unity Government as none had a significant enough majority.

"As no party had an overwhelming victory, I proposed all parties to form a Unity Government. However, Muhyiddin (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) and Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang firmly rejected my proposal.

"I also informed Anwar (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) of the idea. What I wanted then was for all parties to form a solid, stable and successful government," he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah was also asked about the recent rumours on the Dubai Move, to which he advised all leaders to reduce politicking and focus on developing the country.

"I hope that the chaos the people are suffering as a result of the actions of some politicians is brought to an end. They should instead be fostering harmony among the people," he said.

Al-Sultan Abdullah said he would be leaving Istana Negara with a heavy heart.

"I have done my best for the country throughout these five years as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. However, I am sad to leave Istana Negara if the people remain divided."

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