GEORGE TOWN: There is “no way” Penang can be turned into a federal territory so the state government should stop worrying about a planned move to do so by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
Instead, the state should be attending to other pressing issues like the erosion of hill slopes and coastlines, as well as the soaring of housing prices in Penang, said Gerakan Legal and Human Rights Bureau chief Datuk Baljit Singh.
Baljit said that under Article 1(2) of the Constitution, Penang is recognised as one of the states in Malaysia and altering its boundary required the consent of the Ruler and the Conference of Rulers.
Criticising Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for launching a campaign called “I Love Penang”, Baljit said the DAP-led Penang state government should be working on more important issues and improving the quality of life in Penang as a whole.
Baljit also claimed that the “I Love Penang” campaign was an insincere and politically charged campaign to mislead and provoke Penangites against a non-issue.
Lim had proposed the “I Love Penang” campaign to counter the Barisan Nasional suggestion that Penang be made a federal territory.
Penang DAP publicity secretary Ng Wei Aik rejected Bajit’s argument and said it was possible to turn Penang into a federal territory if Barisan came into power.
“It can happen, even in Penang. But the process will involve an amendment to the Federal Constitution and state constitution.
“A two-thirds majority is a must to pass any amendment to the Federal or state constitution,” he said.
Ng, who is also Tanjong MP, claimed that the proposal was “an insult” to the leadership of the Penang Governor.
Tengku Adnan had defended his suggestion, and asked others not to politicise the issue.
The minister stressed that the suggestion was his “wish” in an effort to help people, regardless of race, especially the urban poor.