Give them only to deserving recipients
FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017 THE authorities must take stern action against syndicates and con men who offer fake “datukships”.
These unscrupulous people charge exorbitant prices to deceive individuals who are obsessed with titles (gila pangkat) and are willing to part with hundreds of thousands of ringgit for them.
Today, the popular joke is that “if one were to throw a stone in the street, it will hit at least one Datuk’s head”, which means that the money and power of syndicates and imposters are so rampant that certain states which confer “datukship” or “Datuk Seri” have lost their credibility.
It is good that the Prime Minister ’s Department is drafting new laws to put a stop to the buying or selling of titles and awards from unauthorised individuals.
I remember reading our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was never a Datuk, and there were only five Datuks in his first cabinet.
However, today there are so many Datuks and Datuk Seris.
Awards or titles are supposed to be conferred on individuals as an appreciation by the state or federal government in recognition of their individual contributions — be it in politics, sports or to society.
The titles symbolise integrity, honesty, virtue and selflessness.
They can’t be given to a gangster or a underworld kingpin.
One reads of such “Datuks” being involved in criminal activity, time and again.
The government has introduced the Offences Relating to Awards Acts 2016 and Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) (Amendment) Act 2016 to protect the prestige of the royal institutions.
A stringent vetting process for state and federal governments is also needed to ensure only deserving recipients are awarded titles.
C. SATHASIVAM SITHERAVELLU Seremban