COMMENT | Contrary to those power-crazy individuals who crave titles, both former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Ali did the right thing by returning the awards given to them by the Selangor palace.
This is also far better than those who have received awards, but are being charged in court for allegedly being involved in money laundering or corruption cases.
Recently, the nation was shocked over the case of a Datuk Seri who was arrested for assaulting three People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) members. After posting bail, he was re-arrested in a drugs case. I have always wondered why the ruler concerned who awarded him the title did not temporarily suspend the title.
Umno Sungai Besar division leader Jamal Md Yunos is another good example of a Datuk Seri who has been arrested on several occasions. He has also messed up his own reputation with his involvement in extreme forms of protest and by hogging the headlines with his antics.
Together with Mohd Ali Baharom (or “Ali Tinju”), Jamal has become a bane to Umno’s efforts to win the middle ground.
There were also a number of other cases in the past in which people were using the Datuk title despite being told that their dubious titles were not recognised.
A former boss of mine in the education line, for example, was using the title for a long time before he finally got his title.
This raises a lot of questions about why some people are so adamant about the use of their titles, and why others who did not even get any awards try to impress upon others that they have been awarded a certain title...