KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V today opened the first sitting of the fifth term of the 13th Parliament, with a pledge to continue to reign in a just and fair manner by placing the well-being of the people and prosperity of the nation above all else.
Sultan Muhammad said the endeavour to alleviate the people's burden, especially for the bottom 40 per cent (B40) and the middle (M40) of the household income groups, will be continued as they are the most vulnerable.
“We welcome the government's efforts in providing various incentives to generate additional income for these groups by continuing to provide targeted subsidies, increasing and diversifying the 1Malaysia People's Aid or BR1M, assisting small businesses, granting taxi drivers with permits and introducing a lifestyle tax relief.
“These initiatives are aimed at reducing the cost of living for these groups.
“Our government is amending the Bankruptcy Act 1967 for the benefit of those declared as bankrupts to start anew and to continue contributing to the nation's economy,” the King said in his speech at the opening ceremony, held at the main Parliament building today.
The King also said the government will continue to provide assistance and various incentives to enable the people to attain higher income, hence addressing the cost of living issues.
He also said that at the same time, enforcement will be intensified on unscrupulous traders to safeguard the well-being of the people.
To ensure that the country's financial position remains strong, the King said the government is committed to pursuing fiscal consolidation in order to achieve a balanced budget in 2020.
"Concrete measures will be taken by the government to expand the size of the economy from the current RM1.3 trillion to RM2 trillion within the next seven to eight years.
"Our government will strive to make Malaysia amongst the world's top 20 economies," he said.
The King called upon all parties to work together to brave through the challenges by increasing productivity towards achieving a more sustainable economy.
“Continuous improvement in productivity based on creativity and innovation will be the catalyst for realising growth and ensuring Malaysia remains competitive,” he added.
The King earlier inspected a guard of honour and was accorded a 21-gun salute.
The present Parliament sitting, to last for 20 days from today until April 6, will be held at the main Parliament building, upon the completion of renovation and upgrading works which began in 2012.