Fahmi says comments on Penang is a crime

Communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil says comments casting doubt on Penang’s sovereignty amount to the spreading of false information.


(FMT) – Anyone who attempts to contest or cast doubt over Penang’s status as a sovereign state within Malaysia should be investigated by the authorities, says communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil.

He said Penang’s status as a sovereign state remains intact and must be accepted by all, adding that anyone who suggested otherwise should be investigated to prevent false information from spreading.

“The police are free to investigate under any Act (while) the attorney-general can decide whether to press charges through whichever law necessary,” he told reporters after an event here.

He was commenting on Kedah menteri besar Sanusi Nor repeating his claim that Penang belongs to Kedah and that there was no such thing as “a Kedah-Penang border”.

On Wednesday, Sanusi called for the Federal Constitution to be amended to support his claim after Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim told him to “understand the Federal Constitution”, which lists Penang as one of Malaysia’s 13 states.

Deputy law and institutional reform minister Ramkarpal Singh subsequently said Penang’s status as a sovereign state was enshrined under Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.

Ramkarpal also said Article 71(1) of the Federal Constitution, read together with the Eighth Schedule of the constitution, guaranteed that each state had its own state constitution that provided for its own state government, including the state of Penang.

On a separate matter, Fahmi said he will leave it to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take action against instant messaging platform Telegram if it continues to be uncooperative with his ministry.

The communications and digital ministry has been trying to engage with Telegram since January, following several complaints of pornographic content and sale of drugs being shared via the platform.

Meanwhile, at the event earlier, Fahmi announced that the government will launch the “Komuniti Madani” initiative, which will involve community centres with volunteers from various races to foster unity and ensure information on Putrajaya’s policies is presented accurately to the people.

Fahmi said the Cabinet recently approved 1,878 such community centres to be opened, with 120 of them in Penang.