INCUMBENT Kelantan deputy menteri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah acknowledged that the state falls behind Kuala Lumpur (KL), Selangor, and Penang in terms of development and as such, it is not appropriate to compare the state to the three more developed states.
He said if a comparison is to be made, it should be to other states such as Pahang and Negri Sembilan.
“Put it in a football context, Selangor, KL and Penang play in a ‘Super League’ and the other states play in another different league,” the former Pengkalan Chepa MP said on Kelantan TV’s YouTube live streaming titled Kelantan Maju 2028 last night (July 23).
“Instead, Kelantan ought to be compared to Pahang and Negri Sembilan. And if we were to compare KL, Selangor and Penang, all states definitely lag behind.”
Mohd Amar, who is also the incumbent Panchor assemblyman said Selangor is located close to KL, the country’s capital, whereas Penang has been developed for a long time, in addition that the three states already have adequate infrastructure in place, such as ports, proper roads, and highways.
The PAS vice president’s statement came following allegations made by other parties that Kelantan, which has been ruled by PAS for 33 years, is underdeveloped compared to KL, Selangor, and Penang.
Elaborating, Mohd Amar stressed that the state’s development has nothing to do with which party governs Kelantan.
“Despite the fact that UMNO ruled Kelantan for 12 years from 1978 to 1986, the state remained underdeveloped. Kelantan should have been as developed as KL, Selangor, and Penang when UMNO was in power as both the state and federal governments were ruled by the same coalition.”
Citing Gua Musang in Kelantan as an example, Mohd Amar said the district remained underdeveloped in the 12 years when UMNO was in power but today, the district is filled with a wide array of shops, among others due to the planning and effort by PAS.
“So, you need to be clear [about the matter] and not comment on the subject if you are unclear about the meaning and definition of the term ‘development’,” he remarked.
PAS has governed Kelantan since 1990, with the party acquiring 37 state seats and the Barisan Nasional (BN) 8 seats out of the 45 state seats in the last state election in 2018.
Kelatan is one of six states, including Terengganu, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Selangor, and Negri Sembilan, that will hold its state elections on Aug 12. – July 24, 2023
Main pic credit: Facebook/Datuk Nik Amar