Poster boy or not, Sanusi has to build his own credibility to be ‘PM-in-waiting’

KEDAH Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is a Prime Minister (PM) wannabe as he has the energy to move around the country to conduct ceramah.

Most PAS leaders may not have the stamina unlike PM Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who despite his age has travelled to nine countries around the world to connect with Malaysia’s business partners and allies in ASEAN.

However, Sanusi’s latest controversies are seen as the Sik-born politician shooting himself in the foot. When he fails to respect his fellow citizens, nobody will respect him.

He has also become the target of cybertroopers who compared his bicycling stunt to that of a primate just to make fun of him. We chose not to put this out here just out of respect for him as a person.

However, an unabated controversy that is worth looking into is his claim that Penang belongs to Kedah.

Apparently, he is also backed by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has recently been investigated by the police for “being disrespectful of the (Malay) rulers” in addition to claiming that he had lost his freedom of speech “by talking about the history of the Malays and that the proclamation was meant to overthrow the present unity government.” (Also read our analysis)

Netizens have uploaded a 1907 edition of the Map of Siam (modern Thailand) appealing to the King of Siam to claim back the four states – Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu – so that there “could be peace in Bolehland.” Bolehland is a cynical word coined by netizens to show that “anything” can happen in the country.

Perhaps, Sanusi has gotten too excited without realising that the controversy he courted involves the federal constitution, the country’s highest law when he unceremoniously claimed that Penang belongs to Kedah.

He later had to even suggest the bizarre – amend the federal constitution in order to return Penang to Kedah. Perhaps this can happen if Sanusi someday becomes Malaysia’s PM.

Perhaps, if Sanusi is still serious about becoming the country’s 11th PM, this is what he can learn from, as it is uncensored and honest feedback from netizens.

“Why is an ignorant individual seeking to rewrite history?” asked an irate Krishnan Srinivasan from Penang. “Empty vessels make the most noise.”

Fellow Penangite, Joshua Woo said: “Kedah MB has no respect for Penang’s sovereignty. He should return Kedah to Thailand first before demanding Penang for Kedah.”

Another Penangite Anthony Ng who currently lives in Singapore expressed his disgust: “He is an incompetent ignoramus using irrelevant and irrational issues to initiate insidious ill-feelings.”

From Ipoh, Joe Ong described Sanusi as a “madman”. He has no further comments.

“He is a moron and a racist,” said Steven Sia from Segamat, Johor with no further elaboration.

Across the South China Sea – all the way from Sarawak – Datuk John Lau has a word of advice for Sanusi: “Cheap publicity can’t hold water. A leader needs to talk with solid evidence to uphold integrity and respect. He needs to refer to the Federal Constitution and historical documents before saying that Penang is part of Kedah.”

Fellow Sarawakian, Jacky Lawan from Kuching has never even heard of Sanusi. “I don’t know anything about him,” she said.

The Kedah PAS deputy commissioner who is a first term MB of only three years took over the office from his predecessor from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government when the coalition collapsed following the Sheraton Move conspiracy in May 2020.

If his ambition is to be the country’s No. 1 leader, Sanusi should instead focus on reviving the economy of the state and solving the water woes in Kedah. Honestly, both Sanusi and another possible poster boy of Perikatan Nasional (PN) Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir are not known to be shining examples of good Kedah MB.

Despite producing some of the key national leaders in this country, Kedah is still a poorer state compared to Penang. There are many areas where the state’s 14th MB would do well if he had just worked hard to build Kedah and bring back the glory of the state as the Rice Bowl of Malaysia.

Paddy farmers in Kedah are still among the poorest Bumiputra communities. This was one of the issues that PM Anwar immediately tried to address when he urged BERNAS’ major shareholder, billionaire tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary to fork out some money to help the paddy farmers.

Sanusi still has a lot to learn from PMX which has made inroads into the hearts of neglected people in the PAS-controlled states of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. – June 15, 2023.

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