CARETAKER Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is now resorting to seeking sympathy votes over “arrest” accusations, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
Saifuddin said this in response to reports that Sanusi had skipped another Perikatan Nasional (PN) event at Taman Ria, Sungai Petani yesterday (Aug 6) owing to “security reasons”, which Saifuddin said was out of character for the incumbent Jeniri assemblyman’s generally “gung-ho” attitude.
“I believe it’s an excuse. This country has free and fair election laws where everyone is given the opportunity to engage with many (potential) voters.
“But it seems that his recent reaction was a response aimed at creating sympathy, playing the victim, instead of the stern and gung-ho demeanor he has previously shown,” he told reporters last night after campaigning for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Kubang Rotan candidate Asmirul Anuar Aris.
Yesterday (Aug 6) Alor Setar MP Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden informed the crowd of Sanusi’s absence towards the end of his speech at the PN rally, adding that the order may have come from the top PAS leadership.
“This is due to a trap being laid out by the enemy. The trap is being laid for our menteri besar (Sanusi) to fall into it, then they will nab him and do something that we would not expect. Hence, at this moment, we have to be prepared for any eventuality,” Afnan was reported as saying by New Straits Times today (Aug 7).
On Saturday evening (Aug 5), Sanusi was scheduled to attend a rally in Taman Serai Wangi, Padang Serai but he failed to turn up at the programme which subsequently sparked speculations that he was arrested by the police.
The police subsequently released a statement on the same evening denying Astro Awani’s news report of Sanusi’s arrest.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin, who is also the PKR secretary-general, claimed that Sanusi’s behaviour suggested an attempt to divert attention away from his alleged corruption and abuse of power issues in relation with the rare earth elements (REE) mineral theft in Bukit Enggang Forest Reserve in Sik.
“This is not the first time. Yesterday, Padang Serai MP Datuk Azman Nasrudin said this and his answer was affirmative, that the police had arrested Sanusi.
“The police promptly refuted it. These are all attempts to divert attention from the main issue and then try to create sympathy, play victim. It shows how defensive this PN election director is, whose name happens to be Sanusi,” Saifuddin noted.
Commenting further, Saifuddin said that his series of exposes on the alleged REE scandal had awakened Kedahans to the current state of affairs.
“This is among the signs that Kedahans have the opportunity to see for themselves when the arguments cannot be answered. Instead, another inconsistent narrative is created,” he said.
“I believe Kedahans can see that a vote for PN in Kedah is supporting continued REE theft, but a vote for unity government means a vote to stop REE theft.”
He added that a vote for parties under unity government would also provide an opportunity for the future “unity state government” to manage the state’s resources better according to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Sanusi is set to defend his Jeneri seat against Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Muhammad Khizri Abu Kassim in the upcoming Kedah state polls this Saturday (Aug 12). – Aug 7, 2023
Main pic credit: Facebook/Saifuddin Nasution Ismail