PETALING JAYA: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah held an audience with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz over the Budget 2021 to be presented on Friday (Nov 6).
In a statement on Wednesday (Nov 4), Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said that during the more than one-hour meeting, the King was grateful to all who set aside their political differences during the Budget 2021 preparations.
"During the audience, which lasted 70mins at 3pm at Istana Negara, Sultan Abdullah was briefed on the economic and fiscal situation of the country.
"Also present was Treasury secretary-general Datuk Asri Hamidon.
"Sultan Abdullah was also informed of the efforts of the Finance Ministry in preparing the budget since July, through 40 engagement sessions which involved more than 2,000 individuals and representatives from businesses, as well as political parties, which were held recently.
"The King expressed his gratitude to the government and political parties on their bipartisan spirit and cooperation," stated Fadil.
He also said that the King hoped the government would study the proposals which were presented (during engagement sessions) to form an inclusive and comprehensive Budget 2021.
"The King hoped that the Budget 2021 would centre around the people, recovery of the economy and the effective containment of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Sultan Abdullah is of the opinion that political maturity by putting aside the political and personal differences and interests for the safety and welfare of the people and the country is of utmost importance," said Fadil.
He said such a spirit was in line with the process of engagement as urged by Islam, as was practised by the Malay Rulers in the special meeting at Istana Negara on Oct 25.
(On Oct 25, the Malay Rulers met the King prior to an announcement by the Palace that there was no need for a proclamation of a state of emergency and that all political parties should close ranks and support Budget 2021 for the sake of the people.)
Fadil further stated that the people's welfare should be of topmost priority.
"Sultan Abdullah hoped that such a cooperative spirit will be continued for the sake of the people," he said in the statement.
The Budget 2021 will be presented by the Perikatan Nasional government on Nov 6 in Parliament and debated before all MPs vote on it.
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