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Kedah MB’s pattern of non-inclusive approaches

25 Jan 2021 / 10:43 H.

WHETHER intended or not, the Kedah state government or at least its mentri besar has shown itself as a non-inclusive administration where the interests of the minorities are secondary.

It has also indicated in no uncertain terms that the needs of others beyond its jurisdiction are inconsequential.

We can put one isolated ethnic-tinged faux pas down to indiscretion or even immaturity on the part of its leader.

Kedah Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor’s (pix) inexcusable retort of being “drunk on toddy” undoubtedly reveals how far he will go beyond social norms in a war of words.

Being the holder of the highest political office in Kedah, he has inevitably sent a signal to his administration and the whole state that such an insidious remark is acceptable in today’s conversation.

But that is not an isolated incident as he has followed up the gaffe with the cancellation of Thaipusam as a public holiday in Kedah, suggesting that there is a pattern to his approaches.

Much has been said of him turning a blind eye to the plural composition of our society. We risk seeing this disregard growing into neglect of the interests of all communities and even ethnic disregard.

Late last year, there was the water tiff between Kedah and Penang. In that instance, Muhammad Sanusi threatened to block off Sungai Muda.

Beyond the water needs of the people, we must understand how the ecosystem will be adversely affected if natural irrigation is altered.

Ecology is one of our greatest concerns now as humans think they are the only living organism in this world when they move mountains and divert rivers.

Muhammad Sanusi seems oblivious to this reality with the threat of sandbagging Sungai Muda.

At the same time, Kedah has allowed the logging of 25,000ha of rainforest in the state.

Since only 16% of the 106,418ha of the Ulu Muda Forest Reserves is gazetted and as protected forests under the state’s Forest Enactment, we are at risk of compromising the ecosystem and environmental integrity of the Ulu Muda forest complex.

Just where are the practice of inclusiveness, culture of frugality and sense of humility in his leadership?

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