BUKIT Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid is the latest in a long line of politicians to lambast Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Noor in the past few days for disputing Penang’s sovereignty.
In a scathing rebuke of the PAS leader, the Penang lawmaker said Sanusi should focus on the administration of Kedah, seeing as to how his state ranks second in the list of the poorest states in the country after Kelantan.
According to Syerleena, Kedah’s gross domestic product (GDP) performance in 2021 stood at 3.2% while in comparison, Penang achieved the highest GDP performance at 6.8%, followed by Selangor (5%), Terengganu (3.6%) and Perak (3.5%).
“Therefore, instead of issuing statements like this, Sanusi would be better off focusing on the administration of his state, which requires appropriate attention,” said Syerleena, who is also the Seri Delima assemblyman.
Syerleena further claimed that Sanusi was also trying to distract the people from Kedah’s water woes, as well as deforestation that has led to floods and changes in the geography of Yan.
“The lack of short-term and medium-term solutions to the water issue, particularly in the Kuala Kedah area, is said to be evidence of the state government’s failure under Sanusi’s “leadership,” she said.
“Blaming previous governments and relying solely on long-term solutions, such as the construction of a new water treatment plant, exacerbates the critical water problems that occur.”
She also took a dig at other issues that reflected Sanusi’s leadership failures, including the issue of rare earth element mining not receiving approval from the relevant authorities, as well as issues in agriculture, youth racing tracks, and new stadiums, among others.
Sanusi has been reiterating that Penang belongs to Kedah and that the Federal Constitution needs to be amended to accommodate findings made by historians and experts in Kedah.
He added that Penang belongs to the Kedah sultanate and those who founded the island state, as well as the claim that those who later went on to colonise it for almost 200 years did it by way of deceit.
Several leaders have condemned Sanusi for his remarks, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who told the Perikatan Nasional (PN) elections director to “understand the Federal Constitution”, which lists Penang as one of the federation’s 13 states.
Yesterday (June 1), Jelutong MP RSN Rayer lodged a police report against the Kedah Menteri Besar, saying that it was “extreme” for Sanusi to dispute the sovereignty of the state of Penang, which was established and recognised in the Federal Constitution as one of the 13 states in Malaysia.
Rayer said as a Menteri Besar, Sanusi should be responsible and gather opinions from legal experts and not simply make statements as this may cause public disorder among Penangites.
Rayer was accompanied by Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng, who questioned why the subject of Penang’s sovereignty is being raised now, noting that the nation’s coat of arms (Jata Negara) and flag stripes even featured the state.
“This is Sanusi’s third year as the Kedah Menteri Besar. During the first two years, when he helmed the state under the PN government, there was no such issue.
“Now, as the state election approaches, he is deliberately raising this sensitive issue that can cause tension among the rakyat, especially Penang folks,” Lim said. – June 2, 2023