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Uproar in Dewan Rakyat over Penang-Kedah issue

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says Penang's status as a sovereign state is recognised in the Federal Constitution.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
2 minute read
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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today. Photo: Bernama
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today. Photo: Bernama

The Dewan Rakyat debate session today heated up following Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's response to the issue of Penang's sovereignty.

Anwar affirmed that Penang is a sovereign state within the Federation of Malaysia and that its position is recognised by the Federal Constitution.

He said the matter is stated in Clause 2, Article 1 of the Federal Constitution.

"Clause 3, Article 71 of the Federal Constitution, read together with the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, guarantees that each state has its own state constitution that provides for its own state government, including the state of Penang."

He was responding to a question from Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) on Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor's demand that Penang be returned to Kedah.

Sanusi had previously requested a constitutional amendment to allow the island to be placed under Kedah.

The question-and-answer session also turned chaotic when several Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs cited a Standing Order against the question posed by Lim.

Anwar, who is also Tambun MP, said these provisions are the result of agreements between the British government and the Malay Rulers, namely the Federation of Malaya Agreement of Jan 21, 1948 and the Federation of Malaya Agreement of Aug 5, 1957.

Anwar further said that a police report has been lodged against Sanusi for causing public unrest with his remarks.

"The prosecution division of the Attorney-General's Chambers will examine the investigation papers submitted by the police to determine elements of an offence," he said.

Meanwhile, Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden (PN-Alor Setar) said the same demand was made by Umno in 2017.

So the same action should be taken against the Umno party members who made the demand, he said.

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