GEORGE TOWN: Kedah menteri besar Sanusi Nor’s repeated claims that Penang belongs to his state is nothing more than a “political stunt” to generate support ahead of the looming state polls, say Penangites.
Majid Samdar, a Padang Serai native who now lives in Pinang Tunggal, called out the PAS leader for playing “political games”.
“He (Sanusi) is playing his political game to make people support him, obey him. What he is saying might sound acceptable (to Kedahans), but it is not,” he said.
Majid added that Sanusi should resolve Kedah’s water woes and follow through with the Kedah Aerotropolis project rather than create division among Malaysians.
“His house’s affairs are yet to be in order, but he wants to create issues in other people’s houses,” he said.
Teluk Kumbar resident Izzat Abdul Karim Sheah said there was no need for Sanusi to harp on a long-settled matter.
“He is probably pulling a political stunt to seek attention,” the 39-year-old clinic manager told FMT. Izzat said the menteri besar should focus on bringing investment into Kedah instead.
Jawi resident Luqman Radzi, 29, said Penang’s sovereignty would not have been a topic of conversation if not for the coming polls.
“Sanusi should not be playing around with issues like this one since it is sensitive for the people of Penang,” he told FMT.
Meanwhile, Baling-born Bertam resident Zamzuriah Bakar said while she could appreciate Sanusi’s attempts to improve rural infrastructure in Kedah, she found Sanusi’s comments about Penang to be excessive.
On Monday, Sanusi reiterated that Kedah “owns Penang”, asserting that the territory of the sultanate extended to Balik Pulau on Penang island. His words drew the ire of Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow, who said the state was ready to face him in court if necessary.
According to historical accounts, the Kedah sultanate leased Penang island and Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai) to the British in 1791 for 10,000 Spanish dollars. Over time, the East India Company obtained the land from the Sultan of Kedah in exchange for military protection and an annual payment in perpetuity.
After Merdeka, the federal government began paying an annual honorarium of RM10,000, which was increased to RM10,010,000 in 2018 by the then Pakatan Harapan government.