Friday, June 15, 2018

Datukship (6)

Extracts from Star Online:

Of protocol and privilege

by Wong Chun Wai

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, or worse, like a whiny old man, can we make it a rule to end those senseless salutations of addressing every VIP, Tan Sri and Puan Sri, Datuk Seri and Datin Seri, Datuk Datuk and Datin Datin?

only 19 when he became a datuk 2 years ago
do you expect me to call him 'Datuk'? wakakaka 

We have become a laughing stock because Malaysia is probably the country with the most number of titled persons.

We have lost track of the number of Datuks in our midst. A couple of states are so notorious in giving out such awards, that there is a sneaky suspicion they are easily bought. All of this, of course, puts the royal houses in disrepute.

Last year, our country set a record of sorts – a notorious gang of 60 hardened criminals, including four low-level politicians with the titles of Datuk and Datuk Seri, were netted in a series of crime-busting swoops.

Datuk Kalai No Longer MIC Member Since Arrested As Part Of Gang 360 Devan

Gang 360 Devan, involved in murder, drug-peddling, luxury car theft and hijacking, has to be the gang with the most number of titled leaders.

Then, there was also the leader of the notorious Gang 24 – a Datuk Seri – who was among 22 men picked up in another spate of arrests. In 2017, a gang leader known as Datuk M or Datuk Muda, was shot dead by his bodyguard while they were cruising along the Penang Bridge. The Datuk was a detainee at the Simpang Renggam centre.

Datuk Ong Teik Kwong

Datuk Killed By Bodyguard Discovered To Be Leader To Notorious 'Gang 24' In Malaysia

A day later, a video went viral showing a heavily tattooed man being violently beaten up by a group of men believed to be gangsters, at the late Datuk’s funeral.

In many African countries, they have dispensed with such long salutations, and the speakers simply start their speeches or remarks, with the standard “Ladies and gentlemen, all the rules of decorum have been observed” or “honourable delegates, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.”

The Africans have surely carried out their protocols better than us, instead of our total lack of sensitivity of placing the “tuan tuan dan puan puan” last, simply because they are not titled. This habit seems out of place.

If a New Malaysia has been born, surely a new culture needs developing first. Our newly-minted ministers not having titles conferred by the respective Rulers is a good start, though.

Former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and his father, Lim Kit Siang, have admirably retreated from the limelight of superfluous titles. Likewise, state executive councillors in Penang.

Datuk Seri Nicky Liow (29 last year) allegedly assaulted three RELA personnel who were on duty on 27 Oct 2017 during a religious ceremony at Kao Ong Yah Temple in Kampung Baru Ampang.

The RELA personnel had told him not to obstruct traffic with his Toyota Vellfire

The Star reported he also had 20 bodyguards with him

Subsequently, RELA platoon leader Ho Hoong Keong claimed his three injured subordinates – Melvin Cheong Mun Khai, 19, Leong Jiun Jie, 21, and Lee Weng Poh, 27 – lodged a police report over the RM10,000 “compensation” offered to withdraw their police report on Monday night. They sent another complaint to the MACC

Our former deputy prime minister, the late Tun Ghafar Baba, was just plain Encik, until the day he retired from office.

In Tunku Abdul Rahman’s first Cabinet after we achieved independence, only five of 15 ministers were Datuks. The finance minister at the time, Tan Siew Sin, only held the title of Justice of Peace – which is recognised in Commonwealth countries.

Penang’s first Chief Minister, the late Wong Pow Nee, had no title until his retirement, after which he was made Tan Sri. Another was the late Gerakan president Dr Lim Chong Eu, who only became Tun upon leaving office.

We hope that our Rulers will not spoil these Mentris Besar, Chief Ministers and Ministers with any awards or titles. They can politely turn them down should they wish to, and we also hope that from now on, the King and his brother Rulers will keep their honours list concise.

By now, the message from Malaysians is loud and clear – the people decide, not the elected representatives.


(1) Datukship.

(2) Datukship (2).

(3) Datukship (3).

(4) Datukship (4).


  1. If Najib had won on May 9, Ktemoc would have been in line for a Federal Datukship , in recognition of his tremendous contributions in ensuring a Najib victory.

    But alas it was not to be...

  2. The current Cabinet, when fully announced, will set the record of having the most non-titled Ministers. That should be the way.

    DAP, for one, have respectfully declined all titles in the past. So instead people have given LGE a peoples title "Tokong". I hope they all continue to decline state or national titles until they have retired from politics or reach a proper "datuk" age, say 60 years.

  3. Methinks it is nice to have a lot of people with titles. It's part of Malaysian history and culture.

    I also think there is no reason to address those title bearers by any salutations in any ceremonies or gathering and should be reserved only for official posts eg YTM, YAM, YAB, YB.

    The only people who should be addressed with salutation as to title 24/7 should be only to Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses and all those awarded the highest Bravery Medals (SP).

    Unfortunately, there are just too many Malaysians who are Kaki bodeks and too many egoistic title holders expecting salutations. One likes to bahave like slaves and the other like masters.

  4. Anyone with a datuk title can be assumed to have a >50% tendency for criminal/immoral behaviour.

  5. Thank you for reminding us how alike you and Wong Chun Wai are.
    Only now emerging as heroic champions of governance and transparency.
    For ages, up to May 9, 2018, as quiet as a mouse on the abuses of power and corruption of Najib and his administration.

    I can sort of understand about Wong Chun Wai. For an MSM editor, it was either toe the Najib way , or the Highway.
    For a supposedly independent blogger it was inexcusable.