Kedah only wants Penang lease rates reassessed, says Sanusi after giving police statement

07 Jun 2023 11:57pm
Sanusi with documents related to the lease of Penang during a press conference at Wisma Darul Aman, today
Sanusi with documents related to the lease of Penang during a press conference at Wisma Darul Aman, today
ALOR SETAR - Kedah is not looking at reclaiming Penang, instead, it is only requesting the federal government to reassess the lease agreement based on the current rates.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said that despite the narrative being played by certain parties, claiming that the people of Penang will lose their state, it is intentionally being used to create a negative perception.

He said the matter was also conveyed through a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to initiate discussions to reassess the current lease rates but has not received any response.

"The contents of the letter are among the explanations I gave to the Bukit Aman who came to my office to get statements on the issue.

"In addition to the documents I provided to the police, I also included my consistency in state administration matters as the Menteri Besar. This included three letters to the Prime Minister to meet and discuss various issues including the payment of lease for Penang," he said.

He said this during a press conference after giving a statement for over 30 minutes on Kedah's ownership of Penang to the Bukit Aman police at Wisma Darul Aman, today.

Sanusi said base on paragraph 4.2 of the letter, it is stated that one of the matters to be discussed is on the lease payment based on current rates.

"Based on the previous agreement, the lease payment for Penang was RM10,000 per year.

"Starting from 2018, it increased to RM10 million and RM10,000. What needs to be negotiated with the federal government is the current rate of lease payment.
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"That is my job as the Menteri Besar, and the letter was written politely and respectfully. Whereas the Prime Minister's answer in Parliament yesterday claimed that other Menteri Besar are polite and respectful in their relations with the state and federal government.

"I don't know where that came from but throughout the government's relationship with the government, I follow the etiquette," he said.

Sanusi said the federal government should differentiate between the demands of the state government as the responsibility of the central government and the political attacks made by him during speeches.

"Menteri Besar has a different function. Speeches during election campaigns are the role of a party campaign director. These are two different situations.

"When wearing the hat of a campaign director, our speeches are related to the party within a democratic system. I think all parties in Malaysia do the same thing," he said.

Sanusi added that his function from the other two Pas Menteri Besar are different as he is also the Director of Election Operations.

"Therefore, the judgments given are not appropriate and fair to me," he claimed.

He further said that he is not concern over police investigations against him because he has arguments and evidence for every statement he makes.

He hopes that the Prime Minister will listen to his explanations and understand the issues raised.

"When I met him (Anwar Ibrahim) at LIMA 2023 and the Aidilfitri Madani celebration in Alor Setar, I was moderate. That's my character, as a true Kedahan, speaking in the Kedah dialect.

"I think Anwar understands, but pretends not to understand because he is worried about DAP. All of his actions are because he is concerned about DAP.

"If he considers things fairly, just as he swore when assuming the position of Prime Minister, he will handle my letter fairly, despite being from different political parties," he added.

Sanusi said the state government will not give up and will continue to engage in negotiations for the benefit of the state.

"I will try to meet with Anwar. I must be resilient in leading this state as stipulated by the law and my focus is to increase the appropriate rental payment, possibly RM100 million per year, but the actual assessment must be done by the Department of Valuation and Property Services (JPPH)," he said.

He also said that he not issued a statement to amend the national Constitution to return Penangto Kedah.

"I did not ask for any amendment. They misinterpreted, I never made such a statement. The discussion in Parliament was based on a misunderstanding, and they referred to the wrong matters. Next time, ask me first.

"There is no issue of reclaiming Penang, only a reassessment of the rental payment and paying the current price.

"The narrative played by DAP for political purposes is to frighten DAP supporters that if you don't support DAP, Penang will be taken over by Kedah," he added.

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