KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah wants Malaysians to rally behind every effort to make the country a better place, including caring for the environment and supporting the country’s prosperity plans.
“Our country is susceptible to the global climate change that has resulted in the increase in natural disasters such as floods, hot weather and dry spells,” he said.
He urged everyone to work together to face the challenges, including ensuring the air quality is not compromised.
Reaching out to families who lost their loved ones, income, belongings and property due to the damaging effects of climate change, the King offered his condolences and sympathy.
Tuanku Abdul Halim was giving his royal address when opening the first meeting of the second session of the 13th Parliament here yesterday.
On the Government’s transformation plans to bring long-term prosperity to the country, the King said he was pleased that the national agenda was bearing fruits.
Confident of sustaining development through the plans, he reminded leaders and the rakyat that long-term prosperity could be achieved through mutual support and co-operation among all parties.
He also touched on efforts to address the increasing costs of living, saying development would be meaningless if poverty continues to exist.
“The current approach of providing ‘wholesale’ subsidies, which result in leakages, will be replaced by target subsidies so that more deserving people will benefit,” he added.
He commended various initiatives such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), 1MalaysiaBook Voucher (BB1M), 1Malaysia Discount Card (KDS1M, the Early School Assistance) and 1Malaysia People’s Shop (KR1M).
The King suggested that the number of KR1M outlets be increased, with at least one shop in each parliamentary constituency.
He hoped the private sector would offer more products and services of better quality but at affordable prices.
At the same time, the King called on politicians from both sides to work together to help the rakyat understand the features and benefits of the goods and services tax (GST).
Turning his attention to the young, he advised them to emulate the hardworking ways of their elders, who are now retirees and senior citizens.
On old folks, he said the Government must create a conducive environment for those still willing to contribute to nation-building.
The King also called on the Government and the private sector to do more to combat corruption.
Tuanku Abdul Halim and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah were welcomed by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang when they arrived at Parliament House.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor also greeted the royal couple.
The King and Queen were escorted to the Banquet Hall to be accorded the Royal Honours, which replaced the guard-of-honour that was usually held at Parliament Square.
The change in the ceremony was due to the haze.
The Dewan Rakyat will sit for 20 days, ending on April 10; meeting four days in a week.