Can Sanusi’s Greater Kedah dream be realised or it is just another hype, fluff?

IT IS sometimes difficult to know whether to take Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor seriously or was it just another pun when he talks about the Greater Kedah.

One has heard of Melbourne City Centre and the Greater Melbourne but as far as the Australians are concerned, it simply means the entire city of Melbourne including the suburbs away from the city centre.

But the Greater Kedah? Did Sanusi mean that a bigger geographical spread of the state of Kedah beyond its borders? Certainly, he did not mean the island state of Penang which is a full-fledged state of the Federation that is recognised under the federal constitution.


Jawatankuasa The Greater Kedah ditubuhkan bertujuan menguruskan, menyatukan data-data semua aktiviti kerajaan, anak-anak syarikat kerajaan untuk menyediakan laporan tahunan serta mengemaskini pencapaian semasa semua sektor dalam menjayakan misi The Greater Kedah.

♬ original sound – Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor – Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor

Sanusi can dream on his Greater Kedah but unless he and his team in Kedah work hard to put together an implementable masterplan for the state of Kedah, nothing is going to happen.

Kedahans and most other Malaysians will take his word with a pinch of salt as we have many a lesson from the legendary Pak Pandir of old.

In this TikTok video extract, Kedah state exco Prof Dr Haim Hilman Abdullah has at least the courage to speak up regarding all the preparations that need to be made for Kedah to become the economic powerhouse for the nation.


Sanusi hanya kencing rakyat Kedah. Apa yang dia cakap tak pernah boleh ditunaikan, dia hanya pandai salahkan orang lain dengan pembohongannya #pnbest👍👍👍 #PAStipu #pastunggangagama #SanusiPenderhaka #sanusimdnor #sanusipembohong @Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor @Perikatan Nasional @Penyokong Pas My @Fans Sanusi Md Nor

♬ Rajanya Pembohong – Shinta Gisul

A pinch of salt

Although the video clip may have been uploaded by someone from the opposite political camp, and his speech may have been quoted out of context, what the former vice-chancellor of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) said is true – the young people in Kedah need to develop their potentials so that they could someday become captains of the industry.

Prof Haim who contested in the Jitra state seat and won in the last state election did not mince his words.

“For the Greater Kedah to materialise, we need long term planning. We need to equip the young people for the future,” he asserted. “Otherwise, the slogan Greater Kedah is just a ‘superlative’ word which people will not be able to see. It will remain just a hollow concept.”

The first-time state assemblyman who is also the state exco for Investments and Industries, Higher Education, and Science, Technology & Innovation has hit the nail on the head when he said this.

For too many years, young Kedahans are unable to lift themselves up due to a lack of emphasis in educating the young people. They do not see a potential in their own home state.

Due to the lack of economic stimuli, many Kedahans have had to move to other states in search for better job opportunities.

The tourist arrivals between 2019 and 2024 for the island of Langkawi have also dipped from 3.92 million in 2019 to 2.81 million last year as the state like anyone else is still recovering from the downturn effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perhaps, too much effort was placed in the state elections considering that Sanusi – being Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) election director – did not spend enough time to think about Langkawi.

Time to take cognisance

But most importantly, Kedah has not solved its drinking water woes. Even though PAS was part of the federal government from 2020 through 2023, neither Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin nor Datuk Seri Ismail Sabry Yaakub allocasted any federal funds towards the upgrade of the state’s water treatment plants to a level that is comparable to other states.

It was only under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX) that funding was channelled by the federal funds to resolve Kedah’s water woes.

Interestingly, despite the federal government loan of RM1.7 bil which was approved for water-related works in Kedah in 2019, the state made little to no progress, according to former natural resources, environment and climate change minister (2018-2020) Datuk Dr Xavier Jeyakumar.

There needs to be greater Kedah cooperation with the PMX’s unity government if Sanusi and Prof Haim are serious about building the Greater Kedah. Without clean water, Sanusi can kiss the tourists and investors ‘sayonara, goodbye!’

For the sake of economic growth and a brighter future for Kedahans, Sanusi who is also the Jeneri state assemblyman has to cut down on the polemics by starting to work harder to solve the daily woes faced by the people in his own state.

He should emulate Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi who has even received the commendation from Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong for his hard work.

Sanusi should ask why other islands in neighbouring Thailand and Terengganu are attracting more international tourists while Langkawi can only attract local tourists.

Even though this writer’s family has visited Langkawi twice in the past – unlike Penang and Pulau Redang – there is hardly anything there in Langkawi to warrant another visit.

In the past, the Pedu Lake Resort was a beautiful resort to spend a relaxing holiday, but today, it is only left to rot. Based on the review by Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan di Kedah, the once tourist landmark remains a memory!

Kedah was also once well-known as the rice bowl of Malaysia but today, the country has to import rice from neighbouring countries.

This is the sad state of Kedah. To cite Prof Haim, a lot of work has to be put in by Sanusi and his team in order for Kedah to become an economic powerhouse in the country. Otherwise, the state can only get from bad to worse, especially when it is becoming more regressive. – Feb 26, 2024

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