Kedah MB under fire for ‘cheap shot’

GEORGE TOWN: The Kedah Mentri Besar continues to come under a barrage of criticism over his remarks that Penang belongs to Kedah.

Pertubuhan Amanah Warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang (Pewaris) president Tan Sri Mohd Yussof Latiff labelled the rhetoric of Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor (pic) as a cheap gimmick just as the six state elections, including in Penang and Kedah, are drawing near.

“His recent remark that Kedah and Penang do not have a border because Penang still belongs to Kedah, and Kedah only shares borders with Perak and Perlis, shows his cheapness in trying to get votes in the upcoming state polls,” he said in a statement.

Mohd Yussof, who is also Penang Malay Association president, said based on records from Central Seberang Prai’s district office on the border of Penang and Kedah, Seberang Prai’s present-day borders were created through a treaty between Siam and British on May 6, 1869.

Like Muhammad Sanusi’s detractors, he, too, stressed that Penang was recognised as a component state of Malaysia under the Federal Constitution.

Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS) director Assoc Prof Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said the Kedah-Penang border issue was being unduly sensationalised not just by Muhammad Sanusi but by other politicians.

“I don’t think it warrants a police report against Muhammad Sanusi at all,” he said, referring to the police report lodged by Jelutong MP RSN Rayer on Thursday.

Azeem Fazwan said historically, no one could deny that both the island and mainland that formed Penang today had once belonged to the Kedah Sultanate.

“There are historic documents to show that Penang belonged to Kedah and it is a historical fact that Captain Francis Light did not honour his agreement with the Kedah Sultan on numerous occasions,” he said.

But the senior lecturer said as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, Penang would always be a sovereign state like all the other states in Malaysia.

“As for this moment, we must abide by the constitutional provisions, which clearly state that Penang is a sovereign state.

“If anyone says Kedah will take back Penang, it will not happen as the Federal Government will not allow it.

“We are living in a federation, which already is a sovereignty,” he said.

MCA Youth deputy chief Tan Chee Hiong said the comment by Muhammad Sanusi was a threat to national unity.

“Perikatan Nasional relies on provocative and extremist remarks to gain traction,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The Kedah Mentri Besar, he said, should be reminded that the Federal Constitution was the foundation on which Malaysia was built, with each state having sovereign rule over itself in areas granted by that constitution.

“Muhammad Sanusi’s appeal to change the status of Penang shows his ignorance in this simple fact,” he said, adding that the intent, if allowed to gain a following, could cause rifts in society.

Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid said Muhammad Sanusi should focus on administering his state and not indulge in immature politics.

She said Kedah was the second poorest state in terms of gross domestic product in 2021 and his attempts at stirring discontent was a diversion from real problems that Kedahans faced.

“The lack of solutions to so many public issues in Kedah, from water supply to the people’s economic well-being, is evidence of the state government’s failure,” she said.

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