There was no need for DAP to overreact over a mere verbal suggestion by Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on federalising Penang.
MCA vice president Chew Mei Fun in a statement today said the overreaction by DAP before understanding the whole issue was not only ignorant, but lacked integrity.
“Besides fulfilling certain terms and conditions, turning an area into a federal territory may not be executed by merely a suggestion.
“Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution rightly states that Malaysia is made up of 13 states, and a two-third majority must be obtained before a state can become a federal territory. At present, the number of MPs in Barisan Nasional (BN) does not make up the two-third majority,” Chew said.
Previously, Tengku Adnan, in an interview aired over BFM radio, said if he could, he would like to expand the federal territory to include Penang, Langkawi and some parts of Malacca.
This resulted in Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng expressing his disbelief over the suggestion, saying that the state government would not agree to it.
In reaction to the suggestion, an I Love Penang counter-campaign was launched, of which Chew claimed as ‘purely a plot to incite the sentiments of Penangites for political gains’.
“Instead of wasting time on the “I Love Penang” counter-campaign, DAP should focus on building more affordable housing in Penang to benefit the lower income group in the state or introducing by-laws to prevent the easy purchase of heritage properties in Georgetown whereby local tenants and their traditional trades are forced to shift out as they cannot afford the sudden flight in rent or addressing its perennial traffic jam problems,” Chew added.
Elaborating on the suggestion, Chew said there was no strong and compelling reason to turn Penang into and FT, referring to KL, Labuan and Putrajaya as examples.
“Each has a distinct background and condition: KL is the capital of the city, Putrajaya is the federal administrative centre and Labuan is the offshore federal financial centre,” she said, further stating that the proposal by Tengku Adnan has stirred unnecessary controversy.
“Therefore, it is unrealistic for Tengku Adnan to turn Penang into a federal territory,” she said.