KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor should refrain from driving a deeper wedge among Malaysians about Penang’s past and focus on improving his own state’s socio-economic recovery post-pandemic, Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid said today.

The DAP lawmaker said the PAS leader’s baseless insistence that Kedah “owns Penang” is an attempt to divert public attention from his failure in governing his own state ahead of the coming elections.

She also told Sanusi that he had benefited from studying and working in Penang in the past and should be aware that his recent remarks touch a nerve with Penangites.

“Muhammad Sanusi should not forget that he is also a ‘product’ of Penang, having studied at USM Penang.


“Additionally, he has previously worked as an Education Officer for Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP),” she said in a statement. “Let’s not cultivate such state sentiments that will only ignite political polemics.

“I hope that political rhetoric games like this can be stopped immediately. The country needs politicians who discuss more important issues, including efforts to improve the lives of the people, drive the progress of the nation, and enhance the country’s international image,” she added.

Syerleena said Sanusi was resorting to diversion to cover his failure to boost Kedah’s economy, especially directed at supporters of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition since the state was facing many devastating issues after GE15 last November.


“The statement by the Menteri Besar is an act aimed at diverting the attention of the people, especially supporters of the Perikatan Nasional coalition, from the recent general elections.

“He also intends to divert attention from his failures as the Menteri Besar, including the issue of water in Kedah, as well as deforestation leading to floods and changes in the geography of Yan.

“The lack of short-term and medium-term solutions to the water issue, particularly in the Kuala Kedah area, is said to be evidence of the state government’s failure under the leadership of Muhammad Sanusi,” she said.

Syerleena pointed out that Kedah ranks second after Kelantan in the list of the poorest states in Malaysia.

“Looking at Kedah’s Gross Domestic Product performance in 2021, the state recorded only 3.2 per cent. For the record, Penang achieved the highest GDP performance at 6.8 percent, followed by Selangor (5 per cent), Terengganu (3.6 per cent), and Perak (3.5 per cent).

“Therefore, instead of issuing statements like this, Muhammad Sanusi would be better off focusing on the administration of his state, which requires appropriate attention,” she said.

On May 29, Muhammad Sanusi claimed that Penang is under the ownership of Kedah while Perak and Perlis are the only states that have a border with Kedah.

The next day, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hit back at Muhammad Sanusi’s claim and said the latter needs to understand the federal constitution.

The same day, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh said that Penang’s sovereignty and legitimacy as a state within the Federation of Malaysia was indisputable.

Ramkarpal, who is also Bukit Gelugor MP, said Sanusi’s statement is completely unfounded.

Sanusi has so far refused to retract and apologise for his ownership remarks about Penang.