PETALING JAYA: Penang's status as a sovereign state in the federation of Malaysia is indisputable and there are many agreements signed that back this up, says Ramkarpal Singh.
The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Legal and Institutional Reforms) added that the claim by Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor that Penang belongs to Kedah is baseless.
He said it has been clear since British colonial times that Penang is one of the states under the Straits Settlement.
"Through this Straits Settlement, several agreements were signed between Kedah and the British colonialist which clearly recognised Penang and the Province of Wellesley (Seberang Prai) as a sovereign state," he said in a statement on Tuesday (May 30).
Ramkarpal said among the treaties and agreements signed were His Britannic Majesty's Government and the State of Kedah 1923, The Federal of Malaya Agreement 1948 and The Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957.
The Bukit Gelugor MP said based on the The Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957, the Malayan Federation was formed in the same year where it is clear that Penang was made part of the federation as a state separate from Kedah.
He said the formation of the Malayan Federation were made based on the Federal Constitution 1957 and it cannot be denied that Penang is recognised as one of the states under the Federation under Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
"Furthermore, Article 71(1) of the Federal Constitution, read together with the Eighth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, also guarantees that each state has its own state constitution that provides for the way the state government is run, including Penang.
"There are also other provisions in the Federal Constitution that are aimed at Penang as a sovereign state and it should be noted that since the formation of the Federation of Malaya and then the Federation of Malaysia, there has never been any objection raised by any party including the current state government, that Penang is owned by Kedah," he said.
He said Penang's legitimacy as a sovereign state within the Federation of Malaysia is indisputable.
On May 29, Muhammad Sanusi said that Kedah and Penang do not have a border because Penang still belongs to Kedah, claiming further that Kedah only shares a border with Perak and Perlis.