'Please sit down and don't run,' jokes Malaysia's king

There was much pomp and ceremony at the official opening of the first session of the 14th Parliament by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.

However, it was not all a solemn affair when the King cracked a joke just before delivering the Royal Address.

"Ahli Yang Berhormat, please sit down and don't run away," he quipped as the Dewan roared with laughter.

He is believed to be referring to the walkout by the Opposition during the swearing-in of MPs on Monday over the appointment of the Speaker.

Earlier, Sultan Muhammad V had arrived at the Parliament at about 10am for the opening and was given a 21-gun salute by the Royal Artillery Regiment.

He then inspected a guard of 107 Royal Malay Regiment led by Mejar Izham Ahmad Rashidi.

In his Royal Address, the King called on the Government, private sector and the rakyat to continue working together to improve the economy, especially in bettering the well-being of the less fortunate.

He also voiced support for the abolition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as well as for the stabilisation of fuel prices and the provision of cost of living aid to lessen the rakyat's burden.

He welcomed the Government's move to enhance transparency, particularly by fully disclosing the country's financial situation, re-evaluating expenditure as well as practising prudent financial management.

"We also applaud the people from all walks of life for their show of patriotism by donating to the Tabung Harapan."

Hailing the contribution of the country's 15 million workers, Sultan Muhammad V said he hoped that they would reap the reward from initiatives such as the setting up of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

ALSO READ: Social media spawns memes after Malaysian opposition MP remains seated during parliament walkout

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