King: I will vet government expenditures [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia has expressed dismay over the country's stagnant fiscal deficit position since 1998, which has caused a large debt burden to the government.

In his royal address at the First Meeting of the Third Session of the 15th Parliament, His Majesty said the weak financial position had made it difficult for the government to implement new developments, or to provide financial incentives to stimulate economic growth in the country.

Following this, he added that he would assess the government's expenditures to ensure that public funds would be spent for the right purpose.

"Is this (weak financial position) the kind of burden that we wish to inherit to our future generations and grandchildren? Hence, I support the government's initiatives to undertake drastic measures and implement targeted subsidies.

"I will also personally monitor the government's spending closely to ensure that all expenditure suggestions will be channelled to meet real needs.

"(And) I hope that during my reign, the government will successfully achieve a fiscal surplus every year," His Majesty said.

Sultan Ibrahim also said that new policies were always needed to supplement existing policies in order to attain a more complete national strategy.

Additionally, His Majesty also expressed hope for the government to adopt a proactive approach in implementing a reform agenda to strengthen the country's competitiveness towards achieving a sustainable economy in line with the current needs.

He also said that the government should provide attractive incentives and facilitate transactions through efficient governance.

"Policies made at the federal level should also be adapted to local situations due to the varied situations of individual states, especially on issues relating to the property development sector."

At the same time, he also touched on the importance of attracting high-value investments to create job opportunities that have commensurable incomes.

His Majesty said that despite advances to the country's higher education sector to generate high-quality graduates, present career options for graduates did not match their qualifications.

His Majesty also called upon the government machinery to improve its integrity and efficiency of work ethics to achieve economic development.

"I welcome Malaysia's 29th ranking in the World Competitiveness Index 2023 in the aspect of government efficiency and I encourage ongoing efforts to raise the people's confidence in the effectiveness of services provided by the public agencies.

"I dislike systems which involve excessive red tape. Therefore, the efficiency of work processes and governance must be constantly evaluated and improved.

"I sincerely hope that enforcement agencies will be more expeditious and efficient in their investigations to ensure prompt resolutions of cases."

The third session of the 15th Parliament commenced today and will run until March 27.

The 19-day session which was graced by Sultan Ibrahim will be continued with debate among the MPs on the second day.

Other matters expected to take centre stage during the session include the economic issues, particularly the falling ringgit and rising cost of living.

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