Penang too strong for Sanusi to gobble up yet Penangites mustn’t under-estimate the enemy

A modern day Malay warrior has emerged in the person of Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor who is beating his breast and hollering for a big fight with Penang with the sole aim of wanting to grab the rich state and merge it with his impoverished Kedah.

Based on his brute ignorance, the Kedah Menteri Besar believes Penang has always been part of Kedah and therefore does not exist. It is all a mirage, a quirk of history, a distortion of facts, an invention of the evil colonisers.

This pudgy, brash character is stoking up racial hatred given that the state is largely populated by other races and ruled by a chief minister who is the standard-bearer of the DAP, a party constantly under bombardment from Sanusi’s boss and PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang.

Hadi and Sanusi are both playing the same dangerous game in that both are engaged in demonising the DAP and – by extension – the other ethnic races whose only home is Malaysia.

Now, Sanusi represents a more serious threat than the PAS president’s venomous racial spouting. Sanusi is pursuing a drastic course of action that will inevitably lead to dire consequences.

The dispute is not about the ownership of a small piece of land but who owns the whole state of Penang. It is calling into question the very sovereignty and existence of a state that has far outpaced sluggish Kedah.

No doubt, Sanusi has his eyes on the state elections and this inflammatory issue is a vote-catching platform for him to advance the cause of PAS which is experiencing a resurgence in political fortune.

The rabble-rouser must be taken seriously because if PAS succeeds in capturing the Pearl of the Orient under the banner of Perikatan Nasional (PN), Penang will no longer be on the map of the world.

Stand up and be counted

Once the state falls into the grubby, grasping hands of Sanusi, it will fall into the ranks of the other PAS-ruled states and become just as poor. Perhaps, DAP, too, will be wiped out from the Penang political map.

Penangites must rise up to the challenge thrown down by this rapacious outsider. The state election is one battlefield they can decisively defeat the warrior and bury once and for all his outlandish claim on Penang.

To make the message loud and clear, the voters should take this opportunity to wave the state flag of Penang and sing the state anthem Untuk Negeri Kita (For Our State) whenever and wherever Sanusi pops up in the campaign trail during his cross-border forays:

Selamat Tuhan kurniakan,
Selamat Pulau Pinang,
Negeriku yang mulia,
Kutaat dan setia,
Aman dan bahagia,
Majulah jayalah,
Negeriku yang ku cinta,
Bersatu dan bersama,
Untuk negeri kita.

(May God grant safety,
Safety to Penang,
My noble state,
To which I am loyal and faithful,
Peaceful and happy,
May you progress and succeed,
My state which I love,
United and together,
For our state.)

The anthem encapsulates the strength and unity of Penang which is an antidote to Sanusi’s poisonous diatribe. And they must keep on chanting unremittingly in his ears: “Penang is ours!”

If this uncouth politician wants to up the ante by goading the people of Kedah to “invade” the island, Penang must call up its population to man the barricades and repel the “enemy’s attack”. All Penangites – inside and outside their birthplace – must rise up as one united body to defend their stateland.

This is a scary scenario that nobody wants to see unfold. The fire ignited by Sanusi could spread uncontrollably with each state claiming ownership of the other state based on spurious interpretation of history. It could eventually tear the country apart.

Sanusi’s demagoguery poses a real threat to the very survival of Malaysia as a country whose unity in diversity has been a source of strength down the years.

Sanusi has made Penang a battleground for his politics of “conquest” and “Change Penang” his party’s battlecry. He is counting on the Malay electorate to deliver the state to PAS and ultimately to Kedah. The battle of the ballot box is the nearest equivalent to the clash of arms.

But make no mistake about the resolve of the people of Penang to protect their home turf. It will not be easy for General Sanusi to gobble up the state because Penang is too strong to be overcome.

Penang has been in existence for so long and is flourishing. Whenever the sovereignty of a state is threatened, it is incumbent on the people born in that state to rush to the border and defend their homeland. History is replete with stories of such heroic bravery in the face of mortal danger.

If Sanusi still wants to choose the senseless path in his blurred campaign to “annex” Penang, he will certainly run into stiff resistance. “Stop Kedah!” will be Penang’s battlecry now and forever.

Penang cannot rest as long as Sanusi is around. This mischief-maker is itching for a confrontation with a state that has every right to exist. He will continue to prod, provoke, foment trouble and might even resort to foul means to erase the border of Penang.

Penangites must stand guard at all times to keep this marauder at bay. He cannot be allowed to dismantle a constitutionally, properly established state. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. – June 20, 2023


Paul Bellow is a reader of FocusM.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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