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Better off for Sanusi to focus on Kedah than Penang

June 2, 2023


Written by Member of Parliament for Bukit Bendera, Syerleena Abdul Rashid on the 2nd of June, for MalaysiaKini.

MP SPEAKS | The recent statement by Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, claiming that Penang belongs to Kedah, is seen as an attempt to divert attention from his failure in governing the state.


On the contrary, everyone is clear about Penang's position within the federation of Malaysia.


Therefore, issues like this should not arise and immature political polemics should not occur in the run-up to the upcoming state election.


The statement by Sanusi is aimed at diverting the attention of the people, especially supporters of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, from the results of the 15th general election.


This primarily involves his failures as the menteri besar in driving the economy of Kedah.


His failures include the issue of water in Kedah, as well as deforestation leading to floods and changes in the geography of Yan.


The lack of short- 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 Sanusi.


Blaming previous governments and relying solely on long-term solutions, such as the construction of a new water treatment plant, exacerbates the critical water problems that occur.


Furthermore, there are other issues that reflect his leadership failures, including the issue of rare earth element mining not receiving approval from the relevant authorities, as well as issues in agriculture, youth racing tracks, new stadiums, and many more.


Currently, Kedah ranks second in the list of the poorest states in the country, after Kelantan.


Looking at Kedah's GDP performance in 2021, the state recorded only 3.2 percent. For the record, Penang achieved the highest GDP performance at 6.8 percent, followed by Selangor (5.0 percent), Terengganu (3.6 percent), and Perak (3.5 percent).


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


Vital role


The state government plays a vital role in fostering economic growth and attracting investments. Failures in this regard may be due to a lack of strategic planning, ineffective policies to attract businesses, limited job opportunities, and insufficient support for small and medium enterprises.


If Kedah struggles to create a business-friendly environment and stimulate economic development, it can be seen as a failure of the state government.


The efficiency of the state government can be measured by its ability to deliver public services, manage resources, and effectively implement policies. One key area where the state government is expected to perform well is infrastructure development.


Failures in this area can include inadequate road networks, a lack of basic amenities such as clean water and electricity, and insufficient investment in public transport systems.


If Kedah experiences delays or shortages in infrastructure projects, it can be considered a failure of the state government.


Sanusi should emulate the commitment shown by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in addressing the issue of poverty in Kedah.


In that regard, all parties, including the federal government, state government, and local authorities need to make efforts to realise this intention.


In conclusion, the issue regarding the status of Penang should not be raised by any leader, as it involves the sensitivities of the people of Penang.


Let's not cultivate such sentiments that will only ignite political polemics.


Sanusi should not forget that he is also a "product" of Penang, having studied at Universiti Sains Malaysia. He has also worked as an education officer for the Consumers’ Association of Penang.


I hope that political rhetoric 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.

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