IPOH: The country’s economy, which had been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and exacerbated by political instability, can recover as long as the political environment is stable, says Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.

He said a stable political environment can help the country focus its efforts and resources on healing the economy.

“There is a close connection between politics and economics. Research and observations in developing countries have shown that economic development can be achieved through political stability.

“Political stability is the determinant of economic recovery and development. Recognising this, the state government is committed to ensuring a stable political environment,” he said in his Royal Address during the opening of the first year of the 15th Perak state legislative assembly here yesterday.

“The country’s economy post-Covid-19 has shown signs of recovery. We hope the momentum of the country’s economic recovery will be strengthened after the 15th General Election with the formation of a new government at the federal and state levels,” he added.

Sultan Nazrin also reminded the country’s leaders that the people want a government that is capable and energetic in managing the country’s affairs and fostering meaningful economic growth.

“They also want a government that is skilful and wise in managing state resources, preventing pilferage and avoiding waste.

“It is very important for the government to listen and understand the concerns facing the population, such as unemployment, high cost of living, food insecurity, environmental sustainability, education, healthcare, housing as well as quality public relations and digital communication.

“The people want a transparent and trustworthy government, free from corruption and breach of trust.

“As such, it is paramount for the state government to work with the Federal Government to implement strategic measures that create a favourable investment climate, increase employment opportunities, address the cost of living, ensure food security, and improve social facilities and services,” he added.

Sultan Nazrin said with the world economy in 2023 expected to be unstable and volatile, the state will prioritise initiatives that could provide direct benefits to the people, while ensuring strict thrift measures to reduce wasteful spending.

“The state government fully considers the people’s key message from the 15th General Election, which is the rejection of corrupt practices, financial leakage, abuse of power, and breach of trust,” he added.

Sultan Nazrin also called for a stop to extreme views on ethnicity and religion that incite hatred and potentially provoke hostility among citizens.

He added that firm and immediate action must be taken to prevent activities that could poison minds and fan negative emotions by exploiting differences in ethnicity and religion.

“This earth must not be sown with poisonous weeds that can kill the trees of unity, nor should the sky be allowed to be shrouded in acidic clouds that rain down on the earth with racist and religious-driven extremist beliefs.

“Mutual understanding and harmonious relationships between ethnicities are determining factors to ensure peace and harmony of both state and country.

“Countries and states where citizens live in peace and harmony will be able to focus their attention, energy and effort to attract investors and tourists, increase economic growth and boost the development of the state, ultimately leading to prosperity for the people,” he said.