THE recent remarks by Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Noor on Penang belonging to Kedah is uncalled for and the federal government must take all steps to set the records straight.
As a Penangite, I am deeply troubled by the remark and claim by Sanusi on this matter. The issue has the potential of causing unnecessary conflict and friction between Penangites and Kedahans and must be addressed immediately.
On the other hand, Mahathir’s admission that he was the one that persuaded former finance minister Lim Guan Eng to approve an allocation of RM10 million to the Kedah state government seems to suggest sinister motives on his part.
Why did the federal government need to increase the annual payment of RM10,000 to an extra allocation of RM10 million? Mahathir needs to come clean on this!
We also need to know if the extra payment allocated is made in terms of a payment for a “lease” basis or is it a general development budget allocated to assist poor states?
It is time the federal government reconsiders the annual RM10 mil payment to the PAS-led government of Kedah if it was indeed made on terms of a lease, topping up the existing RM10,000 annual payment.
If so, It is my personal opinion that we need to stop this payment because it could be used by people like Sanusi to further strengthen their sinister motives and make baseless claims that Penang belongs to Kedah.
We have set a wrong precedent in increasing the payment to the Kedah state government on this basis and this may backfire in the future and can even be used in court proceedings against the state.
There is no doubt that the Kedah state is in dire need of federal assistance economically.
This assistance should be done by allocating various development and social improvement budgets in the way other poor states are assisted financially by the federal government and not by way of increasing any yearly lease payment if it ever existed in the very first place.
The decision made by Mahathir is wrong, raises many doubts on his motives and should be rescinded. How we term such payment is of utmost important and this must be corrected now to prevent people like Sanusi from taking political advantage and creating unnecessary unrest between states. – June 7, 2023
Sudhagaran Stanley is a good governance and anti-corruption activist and a Penang-born citizen. His views here are his own and do not represent the organisations that he is attached with.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main pic credit: GPSmyCity