The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has urged elected lawmakers to not drag the country through another political crisis, at a time when the people are already facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The honourable members (of Parliament) should always show maturity in politics. This includes understanding the people’s grievances, championing their plight, holding to principles of justice, practising a clean political culture, and refraining from harping on religious and racial sensitivities as well as the sovereignty and position of the Malay Rulers.

"That is why my government decided that the first sitting (of the Parliament) today will only have one agenda, that is my Royal Address in conjunction with the opening of the new session of the Parliament," Bernama quoted His Majesty saying in his royal address when opening the third term of the 14th Parliament, to an an applause from the MPs and Senators.

The King further urged lawmakers from both sides of the political divide to set aside their animosity, for the sake of uniting people during a time of crisis.

Recalling the political crisis last February, which saw Perikatan Nasional taking the helm of the federal government from Pakatan Harapan, the Agong said that he had tried to convince former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to not step down, but to no avail.

Thus, current Muhyiddin Yassin was chosen to take over the premiership as he commanded the majority support, the King noted.

The King also told the government to look for ways to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged employers not to lay off workers arbitrarily.

Previously, the Agong and his Queen had consented to forgo their Royal Emoluments for six months, from March to August this year.

This was to help the government as it embarked on austerity measures to buffer the impact of the pandemic.

Frontliners dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic were also given a standing ovation, and a round of applause, by lawmakers in Parliament today.

COVID-19 has affected a total of 6,894 people, and killed 113 in Malaysia.

Globally, the infection and death tally have surpassed 4.8 million and 316,000, respectively.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Bernama via Astro Awani