KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — The Kedah government’s bid to reclaim Penang as its territory is against the Federal Constitution which clearly recognises it as a state, a DAP lawmaker said today.
Tanjong MP Ng Wei Aik accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) Kedah government of not only trying to make Penang “disappear” from Malaysia by reclaiming the island state but also insulting its governor who is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“Realistically, Penang is no longer a land leased from Kedah. Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution clearly states that Penang is a state in the Malaysian Federation. Any attempts to claim Kedah’s ownership over Penang is a violation of the Federal Constitution,” he said in a statement.
Kedah state executive council member Datuk Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid was reported saying earlier this week that the state government has informed Putrajaya of its decision to reclaim Penang for its own, after minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor expressed a wish to federalise both Penang and Kedah’s popular resort island of Langkawi, among several other places in the country.
Mohd Abdul Rawi claimed that Penang still sits on leased land from Kedah, citing a RM10,000 annual payment that is made to Kedah on behalf of Penang.
However, the Penang MP pointed out that the RM10,000 fee is part of the federal budget and is not a payment that remitted by the state government itself.
Ng also questioned the Kedah government’s sudden pitch for Penang after decades.
“Does this mean that the Kedah state government is willing to mortgage Penang as a Federal Territory just so that Langkawi no longer comes under threat of being federalised?” he asked.
Like Penang, the Kedah government had rejected Tengku Adnan’s wish to expand the federal territories to their land.
Ng then vowed to protect Penang and also urged Penangites to throw their weight behind the state government’s “I Love Penang” campaign, mooted by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as a response to Tengku Adnan’s suggestion.
“Let us become a strong defence for the state government and reject any powers that tries to destroy or make us disappear from Malaysia,” he added.