King Tupou VI said this morning the biggest problem facing Tonga was the use of illicit drugs.
Speaking during the opening of Parliament in Tofoa, His Majesty also said he wanted the government to speed up the recovery process from Cyclone Gita.
He said winter season was approaching but the people were still in a vulnerable position.
He said the harm illicit drugs had caused to the youth, family and the nation today was immeasurable.
King Tupou VI said some countries around the world have adopted a severe stance against drug-related crime including death penalty.
Leaders and MPs should create jobs for the youth locally and internationally, he said.
This means, the king said, Tonga has to upgrade the quality and levels of its academic qualifications at higher education to be in line with that of the international levels.
He said this could ensure the local students could achieve same quality of education students at international schools have achieved at the same time Tongan students still stay in Tonga and help build up the country.
The king believed the government has more short-term policies than long-term policies.
Leadership and vision as well as long term policies should be congruent, the king said, as he addressed the nation in a speech which was televised and streamed on Facebook. .
The king said it was important for Members of Parliament and civil servants to carry out their responsibilities according to the laws.
He said it was obvious after the Nuku’alofa riots in 2006 businesses and lives of some people were lost as a result of law breakings and breaching of the peace.
The King thanked Tongans overseas for their sacrifices and assistances which help Tonga after tropical cyclone Gita.
He also thanked foreign donors and governments for their contribution to the development of Tonga.