Candid and unfiltered, made audacious Sanusi a crowd puller
SHAH ALAM - His critics may jeer him as uncouth and yet Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor continues to make waves, a feat political pundits attributed to his unfiltered candidness that resonated well with the average Malay man.
At least this was how Dr Syaza Shukri of the International Islamic University Malaysia, assesed the persona of the increasingly popular Kedah Menteri Besar, adding that the latter’s “tell-it-as-it-is” approach has struck a chord with the masses.
“In an era where political correctness is looked upon, Sanusi stands out as ‘fearless’ in voicing opinions that others may hesitate to express,” Syaza explained Sanusi’s behaviour which defied the usual cautious diplomacy of most politicians.
Sanusi’s appeal, she added, was further heightened by his approachable demeanor, which aided him to foster an image of genuine connection with the people, particularly the Malays in Kedah -- one of the three Malay heartland states set to go to the polls in a few more months.
"When Pakatan Harapan (PH) supporters attack him, Sanusi's supporters defend him regardless of whether what he said was true or not. They do this because they see him as representing the average Malay man," he said.
Another academician, Associate Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sanusi also chimed in on Syaza’s diagnosis on Sanusi magnetic pull on the Malays.
Azizuddin added that Sanusi’s firebrand persona was also effective in capturing the attention of youth, who were often attracted to rebeliousness and audaciousness.
However, he was quick to add that this particular trait has always been a double-egded sword.
"Some educated youths reject rebellious character and prefer a more peaceful behaviour,” Azizuddin reasoned.
However, the spotlight on Sanusi’s persona is not without its share of controversies as he was known for his contentious and misogynistic remarks against women when he was campaigning in last year’s 15th General Election.
When he was asked to weigh in on this, Azizuddin remarked that such a behaviour does not universally define the concept of a “real Malay man”.
“Even members within his own party [Pas] have expressed discomfort over his antics,” he remarked.