Lessons for Sanusi to be a more savvy politician in the future

ONE word says it all – caretaker Kedah menteri besar (MB) Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor lacks political savviness.

Until now, he has yet to learn his lessons despite being arrested by the police for insulting the Sultan of Selangor.

When delivering his political talk in Selayang, the motor mouth PAS election director should know that the police were watching him closely since he is well-known to utter all types of seditious remarks in his speeches.

His main intention was to criticise his political rival Datuk Seri Amirudin Shaari but instead of focusing on Amirudin’s failures as the Selangor MB, the PAS warlord shot his own foot by dragging in the Selangor palace.

It has nothing to do with constitutional or absolute monarchy as argued by former twice premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It is about what is appropriate and befitting of the monarch who is above politics. Dr Mahathir should also be investigated for trying to mislead the people to go against the monarchs.

In the first place, how can the Malay rulers be blamed for appointing the wrong MB? Or if people like Sanusi behave like an uncouth MB, should the Sultan also bear the brunt?

Caretaker Kedah menteri besar (MB) Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor

Shot his own foot

One can complain to the Sultan of Selangor that Amirudin has failed to perform in the highest office in the state administration, but the last thing Sanusi should do was to compare the monarchs of two states by insulting the office of one.

MBs are picked by the leader of the main party. In the case of Selangor, it has to be PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as opposed to the Sultan of Selangor.

Obviously, the Sultan can request or reject any candidate but the main onus is on the party leaders to appoint a state assemblyman who command the support of the majority.

For example, after the Johor Sultan intervened in the selection of MB, we see one who is more proactive trying to solve traffic congestion at the immigration checkpoints faced by Johorians.

In this case, Sanusi should have focused on so many issues that he could harp on. For example, the huge amount of illegal dumps, the number of illegal car wash outlets and stalls that are mushrooming in townships or the high quit rents charged to industrial factory owners at Rawang Industrial Park.

Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (Pic credit: Bernama)

He could also harp on the mega stadium project that cost RM787 mil just for refurbishment work which can hardly be justified from the number of events hosted by the old Stadium Melawati. For comparison, the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Johor only cost an estimated RM200 mil.

After all, the Bukit Jalil Stadium which can be utilised for major events is every organiser’s favourite instead of a newer stadium in Shah Alam.

To attract more tourists to Selangor, Sanusi could have proposed the money to be used to joint-venture with an international company such as Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, a division of The Walt Disney Company to invest in Shah Alam.

He could even play on the way how dogs are ill-treated by the local councils, and how a senior citizen, for example, is charged in court under Section 186 of the Penal Code when his intention was only to prevent his dogs from being harmed by one of the aggressive Petaling Jaya City Council officers.

With Selangor now becoming famous for its illegal dumps everywhere, Sanusi should ask Amirudin if the state government had overlooked signing a contract for cleaning up illegal dumps until recently.

Rubbish strewn all over in pasar malam is another eyesore. If Amirudin says that this is the fault of the people, Sanusi could have asked him why not provide the bins and enforce cleanliness the way Penang has done it.

These are issues that may appeal to Selangorians, not that the Sultan of Selangor had failed to pick a good MB. For the record, Amirudin was handpicked by his predecessor Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali who is now the Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) information chief (Azmin was previously the PKR deputy president until he was sacked for allegedly master-minding the Sheraton Move conspiracy).

Anwar’s proposal of Amirudin as MB candidate for Selangor is based on the amount of investments that Selangor has attracted but this is largely because Selangor is the main state with all the infrastructure and manpower resources that naturally make it the preferred state that any investor would pick. That, too, could have been Sanusi’s focus.

Now, the man is reaping what he sowed. In a controversy in August 2021, Sanusi cracked an insensitive “joke” suggesting that freezer containers be used to hold corpses of COVID-19 victims.

Four netizens who criticised him were arrested and escorted by the police back to Kedah to be charged for “insulting” PAS Kedah deputy commissioner. Now the man has finally to swallow his own pills. – July 19, 2023.

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