Malaysiakini

To be or not to be: DAP's debate on datukship

YOURSAY 'No disrespect to the many sultans and their families. The way titles are handed out, it has become symbolically meaningless.'

'Datukship a Catch-22 problem for DAP'


your sayChandran Sukumaran: I think over the years, the datukship has lost its value. It is often awarded with the recommendation of political parties (mainly BN). This should stop.

Recognition should be only given to the truly deserving and those recognised by the rakyat. Presently you throw a stone and chances are that it may hit a titled person. Titles are a dime a dozen.

Gusnargh: A friend whose father has a datukship told me that his father goes around hiding the fact that he has one.

He went to a party once where he was introduced as "datuk so and so" and had a few other people asked him, quietly, "Oh, you got a datukship, ah? What crime did you commit?" or "Who did you bribe?"

He was so ashamed to use the title, which he earned for long service.

Geronimo: I remember DAP leader Lim Kit Siang once said back in the 80s or 90s that he was not worthy of receiving a datukship because he has not done enough for the nation yet.

That I believe is a noble way of protecting the sanctity of the award. Today, the award has been brutally abused by crooks, murderers and cut-throats that this has cheapened the award to a large degree.

In fact, besides the "throwing a stone" joke, there is another one going around - there are now more ‘datuks' than ‘enciks', and as the ‘encik' is getting rarer by the day, it is better that the person/s concerned continue to keep this special ‘encik' title.

By the way, how could a young person like MCA MP Chua Tee Yong receive a datukship? What has he done for the country so far? Compare him to Lim Kit Siang, and the disparity is obvious.

Betelnut: If DAP ever condone such superficiality, it will lose whatever respect I have for them in its fight for the man in the street. Period.

This naive mindset about all these superficial and meaningless titles has to stop, and DAP should lead the way.

Cloudnine: No need to get all these titles. Former deputy prime minister Ghabar Baba served his whole life but never took title when he was in government.

Wira: DAP only prohibits serving leaders from seeking awards. No such restrictions apply to former leaders who have retired from politics. This is a good practice.

Kee Thuan Chye: A datukship does absolutely nothing to enhance a person's virtue or ability.

In this modern age, datukships should be considered obsolete. They harken back to a feudal age. Malaysians need to break away from their feudal mindset.

If we are to be a modern democracy, we should promote egalitarianism. Datukships merely promote a stratified society - and, with it, an ampu-bodek culture. Is this the modern, progressive Malaysia we want?

Ngecui: Absolutely so, Kee Thuan Chye, it does not add an inch to one's stature, especially since many recipient have not proven themselves worthy in any convincing sense to the thinking people at large.

They have become degraded and serve only the pompous cult of elitism so beloved in regressive Bolehland.

Hero325: Penang CM Lim Guan Eng (LGE) is just creating something out of nothing - there is nothing wrong accepting datukship.

Before this, DAP leaders refused to wear ‘songkok', just to stir up Chinese sentiment against MCA. Later when they took up positions in government, there is no resistance to donning the ‘songkok'.

Odin: I believe DAP state assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim was thinking of something else when he brought up the subject.

The question of whether anyone from the DAP or any other political parties in the opposition should accept is immaterial.

Titles are supposedly awarded by the rulers, but, in actuality, the recommendation comes from the ruling party, isn't it? There's no need to say more.

AnonymousA: What is the meaning of all these titles in the first place that the politicians are so hard up for?

For example, Tun Ling Liong Sik is in court for corruption. Tun Mahathir is the most hated person in this Bolehland.

Boonpou: No disrespect to the many sultans and their families. The way titles are handed out, it has become symbolically meaningless.

Moreover, as Lim Guan Eng points out, this is a non-issue since no DAP representatives have been given such "honour" to-date. As such, the question of where DAP representatives should accept their datukship if awarded remains a hypothetical issue.

I also completely agree with anonymousA's comment, respect is earned and, if I may add, be bestow by the rakyat. They are most certainly not born with, and most definitely must not be bought with money.

S Ravichandran: Dear CM of Penang, good for you to reject datukship. You don't need it. You are already 'tokong'.

CucuMalaysia: Everyone automatically receives a title after birth. In fact, it's the most honorific title one gets bestowed within one's lifetime.

Much love and care would have gone into ensuring it carries a good meaning. Uphold this title (which is more valuable than any datukship) throughout your life and you are sure to make your parents and ancestors proud.

After all, a clean ‘Mr' title is worth more than that of a tainted ‘datuk'.

Cannon: The title ‘Mister' is simple and an increasing rarity. There is no greater and nobler tribute than this title on head's headstone: "Here lies a servant of God."


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