ALOR SETAR: Sanusi Nor has laughed off a motion by the Penang assembly to censure him over claims that the state belonged to Kedah.
The Kedah menteri besar said the motion had no bearing on anyone, including himself.
“If (Lim Guan Eng) was confident with Penang’s history and denied that it was part of Kedah, then he shouldn’t be jumping, let alone move a motion at the assembly,” Sanusi told FMT.
Lim, a former chief minister, had tabled the motion yesterday and it was unanimously approved by the assembly.
“History can’t be erased and rewritten on a whim.”
Lim tabled a motion to censure Sanusi for repeatedly questioning Penang’s sovereignty and indirectly delegitimised the Federal Constitution that recognised Penang as a member state in the federation.
Lim said Sanusi had repeatedly questioned Penang’s sovereignty including in the menteri besar’s latest speech where he claimed that “Penang was the only state whose sovereignty was in doubt”.
This evening, Sanusi said it was time to present an accurate version of the history with regards to Penang’s sovereignty, adding that the era where history was dictated by the colonialists was over.
“It is time for the future generations to learn the truth,” he said, although he did not go into specifics.
On a separate matter, Sanusi said there was nothing wrong in insisting that Penang should pay RM100 million annually in lease payments to Kedah. He was responding to claims that he was “obsessed with money”.
“Some people say I want free money. I say why not, what is wrong if it is for the 2.2 million people in Kedah and not for myself.”
Penang island and Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai) were leased by the Kedah sultanate to the British in 1791 for 10,000 Spanish dollars. Historical accounts state that the East India Company eventually acquired the land from the sultan of Kedah, in return for military protection and a yearly payment in perpetuity.
The yearly payment, now an honorarium, had been set at RM10,000 for decades, but was raised to RM10 million a year by Putrajaya in 2018.
Sanusi, however, regards the honorarium as “lease payment” and has asked that it be raised to RM100 million a year since Penang was “doing well”.