GEORGE TOWN: The Federal Government should not give in to Kedah’s demands that the honorarium for Penang island and mainland should be increased to RM100mil a year.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Putrajaya should reject the matter brought up by Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor during a press conference at Wisma Darul Aman on Wednesday (Oct 27).
Presently, the Federal Government, on Penang’s behalf, has been paying RM10mil as a “lease payment” to Kedah annually since 2018. It was RM10,000 before that.
“We will not pay anything to Kedah. The Federal Government also does not need to entertain the state’s demands, which is over and above what has been agreed upon previously,” he replied via text message on Thursday (Oct 28).
Sanusi was earlier reported to have said it was time for the Federal Government to raise the honorarium by RM90mil to RM100mil, given Penang’s lease valuation was now at least RM500mil.
During the recent state assembly session in September, Sanusi reminded the Penang government not to interfere in Kedah's administrative affairs as it was improper.
He also reportedly said Penang should realise that it was not a state that exists by itself and history had recounted that it was a state leased from Kedah.
In 1800, the then Kedah ruler Sultan Dhiauddin Mukarram Shah had signed an agreement with Sir George Leith Baronet to lease Penang island and Seberang Prai for 10,000 Spanish Crowns a year.
When the country achieved independence in 1957, the annual honorarium rate was converted to RM10,000 before it was increased to RM10mil in 2018.