Leave Palace out of political plots

Deep discussion: Anwar (second from left) at the Finance Ministry’s monthly gathering. With him (from left) are Deputy Finance Minister Lim Hui Ying, Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan and Treasury secretary-general Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The Royal Palace will not be involved in any political plots, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, while the King has decreed that the unity government continue with its work to manage the country’s affairs.

The Prime Minister said that this was conveyed to him by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah during a meeting between the two yesterday.

“As usual, today I had an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to present to him the Cabinet papers that will be discussed tomorrow and to discuss some of the latest developments (in the nation),” Anwar wrote in a statement.

“His Majesty decreed that I, as the Prime Minister, and the Madani government continue with the task of managing the country. His Majesty also decreed that the Royal Palace will not be involved in any political plots,” said the statement that was uploaded on his official social media channels.

Anwar added that any proposal to donate RM500mil or RM750mil should be channelled to the poor.

Anwar’s latest statement follows talk of the latest attempt, dubbed the “Dubai Move” to overthrow the unity government by triggering defections among the government’s MPs and denying the administration the requisite simple majority it needs in the Dewan Rakyat.

The label “Dubai Move” was coined by the government’s communications department to describe how the plot was hatched by Opposition leaders who were vacationing in the United Arab Emirates last December.

Rumours about the plot also include allegations that some individuals had put up RM750mil to buy over government MPs.

Some senior leaders from the federal opposition, Perikatan Nasional, have denied that they were behind the conspiracy.

At an earlier event in Putrajaya, Anwar told government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) to focus more on investing locally rather than going overseas.

“If their excuse is that it is not attractive (to invest here), then how do we explain why we want foreign companies to invest in Malaysia?

“How do we explain why our core companies do not set an example on which attractive areas to invest in that give lucrative returns?” he said at the Finance Ministry’s first monthly gathering for 2024 yesterday.

“GLCs and GLICs play an important role in creating confidence in the country’s economy and investment environment,” added Anwar, who is also Finance Minister.

He added that the proportion of domestic and foreign investments in GLCs and GLICs should be reviewed.

“We will discuss this again, whether it should be 20% or 25% (of their total investment portfolio).”

He said Malaysia had attracted RM350bil worth of investment commitments last year, of which RM275bil were approved in the first nine months.

The Prime Minister also lauded two of the country’s top revenue collectors for their impressive record, which helped the government strengthen its coffers.

He announced that the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) had collected RM183bil in 2023, surpassing its target of RM176bil.

Meanwhile, the Customs Department collected RM55bil in 2023, as compared to RM53.54bil in 2022.

Last year’s economic indicators were also encouraging, where the gross domestic product rate was at 3.9% in the first three quarters, in tandem with the 4% target, he said. He added that the inflation rate was 1.5% in November last year, a drop from the 4% recorded in November 2022.

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