KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia The government will continue to address issues most affecting the people, such as the cost of living, as well as implement community-based programmes in ensuring their well-being, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Malaysia’s King), Sultan Muhammad V, said today.

His Majesty said the government emphasis in the matter was evident from the establishment of the National Cost-of-Living Action Council recently.

“I believe more initiatives will be introduced following the setting up of the council to draw up appropriate programmes that can be implemented immediately to ease the burden of the people.

“Allocations will continue to be provided to carry out more community-based programmes and projects for their well-being,” he said.

Sultan Muhammad V was delivering his royal address at the opening of the first meeting of the sixth session of the 13th Parliament here.

His Majesty said that in the face of the global economic uncertainty, the government remained focused on and committed to prudently implementing fiscal transformation policies and national economic and financial management.

He said the government finances were expected to be stronger following higher revenue collection, moderate growth in spending, continuing decline in targeted fiscal deficits, international reserves remaining strong, and manageable and controlled federal government debts.

“The country is still one of the preferred investment destinations and is expected to attract higher investments in 2018. It is hoped that the momentum of this positive performance can be sustained.”

“As for the future, the country should continue to step up efforts because maintaining success is more difficult than achieving it, he said.

Sultan Muhammad V also urged the government to ensure that all the planned programmes and projects were implemented by taking into account the current challenges facing the country.

Sultan Muhammad V also said that the government would continue to implement the transformation programmes to improve the quality of life and well-being of the people as well as the skills training and entrepreneurship programmes that had helped to increase the income of the rural people, Felda and Felcra settlers, Risda smallholders, villagers, the Orang Asli and Bumiputera minorities in Sabah and Sarawak.

His Majesty expressed confidence that the public transportation infrastructure projects that were in various stages of implementation would provide economic overflow and improve the well-being of the urban communities.

He noted the government commitment to improve the education sector, which he said was the pulse of national development, by improving school infrastructure and improving the quality of delivery of health services to the people.

Sultan Muhammad V said the government would continue to strengthen efforts to combat elements of leakage, malpractices and abuse of power in the public administration in order to make Malaysia one of the top 20 countries of the world.

His Majesty also welcomed the increase in the index score of Syariah Malaysia, which was a government commitment in implementing the country’s administration based on the provisions of the Federal Constitution that recognised Islam as the federal religion.

“In this respect, the value of moderation always championed by Malaysia has also gained worldwide recognition and a resolution by Malaysia to address the spread of extremism and radicalisation was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly,” he said.

He expressed satisfaction with the various programmes and activities implemented by the government to empower women, including ensuring that they made up 30 per cent of the people at the decision-making level.

Sultan Muhammad V also expressed support for the proposal to formulate legislation to address the spread of fake news and slander on social media, saying the medium was most influential in shaping the values and culture of a society.

On the question of security, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Malaysia’s king) said the government should continue to step up the level of its preparedness in enforcement including in relation to cyberspace, intelligence capabilities, patrols along the borders and in the waters as well as combating trafficking in persons.

He also expressed the hope that no party would make national security a subject of ridicule or a political issue.

Sultan Muhammad V also urged all quarters to take more effective preventive and enforcement measures to combat drug abuse among young people and students that was getting increasingly serious.

Describing unity as the essence of peace, well-being and national stability, he said the appreciation of the nation’s historical heritage and mastery of the national language should continue to be strengthened as the basis of the Malaysian identity.

His Majesty said he hoped that Allah (God) would continue to bless Malaysia and its people so that the rakyat (People) can live in peace and unity.

Source: NAM News Network