“Sanusi’s claims over Penang going wild, Putrajaya should rein him in”
By Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy
THE Kedah state government is inviting historians, academicians and others to prove the point that Penang was leased from Kedah by the British then for a sum of money in Spanish dollars.
Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammed Sanusi Md Nor said that if Penang was not leased from Kedah, then why should Putrajaya pay first RM10,000 and then later RM10 mil to the state.
He argued that no Government will pay such an amount without any historical basis.
Strangely, rather than ascertaining the truth whether Penang was sold or leased to the British by the Kedah Sultanate, the Kedah Government is trying to prove the point that Penang was indeed leased from Kedah.
This method to prove a point is nothing but subjective.
Wonder whether the professionals engaged in this project will simply try to do something that might be even contrary to the facts.
Sanusi has already made up his mind about the lease but merely wants it to be endorsed by team of experts to give it legitimacy.
But what if Penang was not leased but sold by Kedah to the British? Will the team of experts be brave enough to say this?
Anyhow, no right-minded experts will join this team to work in the Sanusi’s shallow-minded attempt to distort history. Would the team report their findings without fear or favour? Will their selection be determined by their loyalty to the Kedah government or their loyalty to their profession?
It is sad that Sanusi, by engaging professionals, thinks that they will report findings in favour of the Kedah government. Even if they prove the point that Penang was leased to the British, then the team must also consider whether the Kedah Sultanate still had sovereignty over the island.
Kedah was vassal state of Siam
bunga mas - Kedah's vassal-state-tribute to King of Siam
History points out that the Kedah Sultanate was a vassal state of Siam or Thailand. Penang, on that note, was indeed the vassal state of Siam rather than Kedah.
If this was the case, how could Kedah say that it had sovereignty over the two parts of Penang? There is evidence to indicate that Penang was unofficially ceded to the British by the Kedah Sultanate in return for protection against Siamese invasion.
Later attempts by Kedah to take over Penang from the British was rebuffed by the colonial power’s military might.
On that note, the federal government should clarify why it is paying an annual stipend to Kedah; was it due to the fact that Kedah had sovereignty over Penang or the stipend is meant to financially assist Kedah.
If Putrajaya thinks that Penang was the former vassal state of Kedah, then there is something clearly wrong.
And the federal government cannot distort historical facts just to please Sanusi’s imaginations. – Oct 31, 2021.
Ramasamy Palanisamy is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang