The 13th Malaysian Parliament commenced today. I am proud to congratulate the members of parliament who have been chosen by the voters of our country. It is a good time to remember the vital role that they play in our democracy.
A Member of Parliament is a member of the federal legislative council, also known as the Dewan Rakyat. The Dewan Rakyat is responsible for planning, debating, structuring and approving bills for the good of the rakyat. MPs are also tasked with researching policy and reviewing existing laws. They are also responsible for getting the response of the people from the areas we represent.
I am confident that we can debate eachother in a polite and respectful manner, while contributing ideas and suggestions to help the people. I hope that the MPs are committed toward to active participation in parliament, and that all debate can proceed constructively and efficiently.
The constitutional democracy that we have practiced so far in this country is showing a higher level of maturity. The vigorous debate, high turnout and competitive results of the 13th General Election recently is proof that democratic ideals remain healthy in our country. For the 13th Dewan Rakyat session, we will see an increase in participation from younger MPs who bring with them the spirit and aspirations of the youth, and also contributions from new MPs who bring experience from diverse backgrounds and careers.
On behalf of myself and the Barisan Nasional government, I would like to thank all Malaysians who have given me the mandate to continue the job of governing the nation. I and my fellow Barisan Nasional MPs will strive to live up to the trust you have given to us. Our priority during this 13th Dewan Rakyat session is to focus on fulfilling our promises, as well as to prepare the best possible budget for the people in 2014.
In fact, discussions about Bajet 2014 will commence as soon as next week. On behalf of the government, I would like to invite everyone to voice their opinions and ideas in respect of the next year’s budget. Of course, the 2014 Budget will encompass several aspects of the promises made during the 13th General Election. We will increase assistance to the rakyat such as BR1M in accordance to the government’s annual finances. We are also targeting to reduce the national deficit from 4.0% to 3.5% by 2014 and 3.0% by 2015.
In closing, I would like to ask all members of parliament attending the session today to work hard toward developing our beloved Malaysia. The people are counting on us.