ALOR SETAR: Kedah menteri besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor today pledged to be himself and not change his ways after coming under fire from opposition representatives over his misplaced jokes.
He said this after several opposition reps panned him over remarks he made in the past concerning the Covid-19 dead in containers and other issues at the state assembly today.
Sanusi had earlier said the container joke was between him and press members. He had later apologised to those who felt offended.
In a press conference today, Sanusi said growing up, his elders had taught him to be himself and not to be pretentious.
“I don’t need to pretend to be someone else. If I feel like joking, I will joke. If people can’t take a joke, then it is up to them. I am me and I will say what I want.
“If I can’t joke, I will get a fever. That is my therapy … my way of getting rid of stress. But people take my jokes seriously.
“Worse yet, what I say is often taken out of context, with selected quotes used. It is unfair. Look at the bigger picture.
“So please, don’t come up with schemes on how I should act and what more when my elders have taught me to be myself,” he said.
Sanusi said it was incredulous that people were after him for merely calling people by their first names (despite their apparent status) when it was clear it was okay for one to do so.
He said bringing up such trivial matters to the assembly to judge his character was unnecessary when there were more serious policy matters to be debated.
“This is what you call ‘lebih bubur dari camca’, by bringing this issue to the Dewan,” he said.
Earlier, at the assembly, Ismail Salleh (PH-Amanah) asked Sanusi to control himself when commenting on issues.
“I am really upset that the MB joked about Covid-19 deaths. I know he did not mean it, but he must exercise some caution next time,” he said in debating the sultan’s address.
Ismail said Sanusi’s breach of standard operating procedures by test-driving a pick-up in Penang was also unacceptable as he was the “number one” chief executive in the state.
He said the continuous attacks by Sanusi’s aides on Nini Siron, a woman who blew the whistle on Sanusi’s test-drive, were also regrettable as these were lies and meant to slander her.
Salim Mahmood Al Hafiz (PAS-Bukit Lada) then sounded off Sanusi’s detractors, saying the menteri besar had brought many good changes to the government and development to the state.
He said not only had Sanusi shown he could govern, but he was also one who could deliver khutbah (religious lectures) and had many other talents.
“These are small things that are being magnified to cover up the good things the MB is doing for Kedah. This is an elaborate way to erase the good deeds of the MB.
“Please don’t focus on his jokes seriously. If you know him, you will know that he is a jovial person. He was like that even before he became MB.
“Can’t we be thankful to our MB who has made the Kulim airport dream a reality and the millions of ringgit in investments that have poured into the state of late?”