THE following is the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at the first meeting of the sixth session of the 13th ParliamentBismillaahir Rahmaanir Rahiim Alhamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Alamin Wassolaatu Wassalaamu ‘Ala Asyrafil Anbiyaai Wal Mursaliin Wa’ala Aalihi Wa Sohbihi Ajma’iin. Assalamualaikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh and Greetings.
President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Representatives.
Alhamdulillah. We express Our utmost gratitude to Allah the Almighty for it is with His Munificence, and with His Leave, we are gathered here today for the Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Session of the Thirteenth Parliament.
2. We are thankful that despite uncertainties in the global economy, the Government remains focused and committed to the implementation of the fiscal transformation policies and prudent management of the country’s economy. The Government’s financial position is expected to be stronger contributed by higher revenue, moderate growth in expenditure and gradual reduction in fiscal deficit. International reserves remain strong, while the Federal Government’s debt is under control and manageable.
3. Malaysia’s external trade is expected to be resilient in tandem with increasing global trading activities. Malaysia remains as one of the preferred investment destinations and is expected to attract higher investments in 2018. We hope that this positive momentum will be sustained.
4. The country must intensify its efforts to chart a better future as maintaining success is more difficult than achieving it. Hence, We urge that all programmes and projects to be implemented effectively taking into account challenges facing the country.
5. We commend the continuous measures taken in addressing issues that are close to the hearts and minds of the people especially those pertaining to the cost of living. We believe that more programmes will be introduced with the establishment of the National Action Council on Cost of Living to ease the burden of the people.
6. Our Government will continue to provide allocation for more people-centric projects and programmes to ensure the wellbeing of the people. Furthermore, targeted subsidies and assistance for the needy will be continued.
7. Unity is the essence of peace, wellbeing of the people and stability of the nation. Therefore, We hope that appreciation of the nation’s historical legacy and mastery of the national language will be strengthened as the basis of the Malaysian identity.
8. We welcome the Malaysia Syariah Index score improvement which embodies the Government’s commitment towards an administration that is based on the provision in the Federal Constitution that Islam is the religion of the Federation. At the same time, the value of moderation which Malaysia champions received international acceptance when the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution aimed at curbing the threat of extremism and radicalisation.
9. Our Government will continue the implementation of the transformation programme to elevate the quality of life for the people in the rural areas. These include Sabah, Sarawak, FELDA settlers, RlSDA small-holders, FELCRA participants, traditional villagers, the Orang Asli as well as Bumiputera minorities in Sabah and Sarawak. Skills training and entrepreneurship programmes that have succeeded in increasing the income of the target groups will be further intensified.
10. We are pleased with the Government’s efforts to improve the wellbeing of the urban community by enhancing the interconnectivity of the increasingly popular public transport system. We are also confident that the public transport infrastructure projects, which are now in various stages of implementation, will bring economic spillover for the people.
11. The delivery of quality healthcare services will be enhanced by means of innovation and collaboration with various sectors with the purpose of providing value added services.
12. We are concerned of the threats to peace and security of the country which are real and manifested in various forms. We urge the Government to continue to be vigilant especially in enforcing cyberspace security, enhancing intelligence capabilities, increasing patrolling borders and waters, as well as combating human trafficking. No one should politicise or trivialise the issue of national security. The threat of drug abuse among youths and students is also becoming more serious. Thus, We urge all parties to take preventive measures and the enforcement authorities to combat this threat more effectively.
13. Presently, social media has a significant influence in shaping the values and culture of the society. All parties should play their role in safeguarding good character and moral values within the society. Hence, We fully support the proposal to formulate laws to address the spread of fake news and slander in social media.
14. As education is a vital investment for national development, the Government continues to put emphasis on science, technology and innovation (STI) alongside technical and vocational education and training (TVET). At the same time, the improvement of existing school infrastructure and the upgrading of dilapidated schools especially in Sabah and Sarawak have been expedited to make learning more conducive.
15. We are pleased that numerous programmes will be implemented to empower women in various sectors thus ensuring 30% of them are in decision-making capacities. This target has already been achieved in the public sector and in companies listed on Bursa Malaysia.
15. The Government will continue its efforts to make the matters to enable swift decisions on projects and programmes for the people. To further improve the delivery system, integrity and good governance will be strengthened to prevent leakage, misappropriation and abuse of power.
17. Our Government will continue to modernise the agriculture sector including commodities and the coconut industry while exploring new sources of wealth such as durian, herbs, dairy products and bird’s nest. Various measures should be taken to ensure that agriculture and commodity eXports conform to international standards and also venture into the international market.
18. We thank and appreciate the commitment of all parties who have contributed towards safeguarding the security, peace and sovereignty of the nation which has enabled the country to progress and for us to reap the benefits. We also thank the Government helmed by the Prime Minister for its endeavour in developing this beloved country.
19. Lastly, We pray that Malaysia and her people will continue to be blessed by Allah the Almighty with His Grace and Beneficence so that we will always remain peaceful and united under His Protection. Wabillahhi Taufik Walhidayah, Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.