Rivals to exploit Kedah MB weakness in state elections

Diyana Ibrahim

The contentious leadership of Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is expected to dent PAS' popularity in Kedah as elections near. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, April 22, 2023.

THE leadership of Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is an “issue” Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan are eager to exploit in the state elections.

Grassroots leaders said the electorate has already begun to express their displeasure at Sanusi’s confrontational style of leadership, which often lands him at odds with the federal government.

“Many pressing issues, such as the rising cost of living and water access, are not tackled. The menteri besar is not focused on things that matter,” Pokok Sena Umno division chairman Said Ali told The Malaysian Insight.

“He’s only thinking of his political interests. He is a loose cannon who tries to be a hero all the time,” Said added.

He said voters in Kedah want to a menteri besar who behaves professionally and has good ties with the PH-led unity government.

“People see Sanusi as a show-off who wants to demonstate his perceived greatness and eloquence.”

“They find his confrontational attitude unacceptable.”

Last month, Sanusi accused the federal government of trying to pressure his administration when he claimed he was barred from the central government’s events, including the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023.

Last Wednesday, the PAS vice-president spoke of an attempt to remove him from the National Finance Council (NFC). He said the Finance Ministry had sent a letter to the Kedah sultan regarding the matter.

Putrajaya denied the claim.

PAS, the backbone of the Kedah government, has 15 of the state assembly’s 36 seats. Its coalition partner, Bersatu, has six.

Said said he expects the issues surrounding the menteri besar to erode PAS’ popularity.

He said PAS will not see the same support in the state polls that it did in the 2022 general election.

He said the people this time will favour parties that offer political stability, such as Umno and PH.

PH Kedah chairman Mahfuz Omar agreed the people of Kedah are not happy with the relationship Sanusi has with the federal government.

“The issue of Sanusi’s leadership is really embarrassing. He behaves more like a thug than a statesman. This is a big issue. Everyone is talking about it, including senior state government officials,” Mahfuz said.

He also dismissed PAS as a threat in the polls, saying its performance in the general election could not be used as a yardstick.

He said PAS and Perikatan Nasional (PN) won in 2022  by “playing up racial and religious rhetoric”.

“The people have opened their eyes and are no longer susceptible to such talk,” he said.

In the general election on November, PN won 14 of the 15 federal seats in Kedah. PH managed only one win while Barisan Nasional was wiped out. – April 22, 2023.

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  • You can say whatever you like on Sanusi, but the Malays in Kedah love his clownish behaviour. Unless you can find an outstanding and popular alternative, he will still be there to entertain the voters.

    Posted 1 year ago by G Tan · Reply

  • Given how they voted in GE15, I think the Kedah voters want a continuation of kerajaan gagal 1 & 2. More white flags anyone?

    Posted 1 year ago by Yoon Kok · Reply