"Just Throw A Stone In The Street And You'll Hit A Datuk"
AFP recently released an article on the abundance of people carrying the Malay royal title "Datuk" in Malaysia. Are there too many?
Malaysia Has One Of The World's Highest Rates Of Royal Title-Holders
"Just Throw A Stone In The Street And You'll Hit A Datuk."
"Just throw a stone in the street and you'll hit a Datuk," complains Datuk K. Basil, a policeman-turned-politician and one of many who feel the awarding of the coveted titles has got out of hand in a status-obsessed Malaysian society.japantimes.co.jp
The Title Of "Datuk" Is Akin To A British Knighthood But Far More Common
Titles Purportedly Help Protect Bearers From Prosecution And Gain Access To Policy-Makers
Malay cultural expert Eddin Khoo said titles are widely abused for their clout and connections in a country where corruption is widespread. The perks begin with an official crest for a Datuk's car, "to show money is rolling by," said Khoo.freemalaysiatoday.com
As far back as 2004, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad — now retired, and a Tun — warned of a title glut. “If you produce a million Ferrari cars, nobody will care about buying a Ferrari,” he said.themalaymailonline.com
Some Malaysian royalty have complained more recently of ill-behaved Datuks and of agents who allegedly claim to broker investitures.freemalaysiatoday.com
In one case, businessman Datuk Koay Khay Chye pleaded guilty in 2010 to drug possession. The case created an uproar when it was reported he had retained his title despite earlier convictions for theft, firearms offences and corruption.thehindu.com
"It Is An Open Secret That Datukships Are For Sale By Cheats."
Media Reports Suggest Self-Styled Royal Noor Jan Shah Raja Tuah Shah Has Sold Hundreds Of Dubious Investitures
Noor Jan entered a recent function in Malaysia's government headquarters of Putrajaya, resplendent in a royal-yellow military-style suit studded with medals and epaulets, trailed by an entourage of his "Datuks" to the beat of traditional Malay musicians. He admits taking cash "donations" from recipients, but denies selling titles.msn.com
"We could easily take hundreds of thousands of ringgit. But you see, we are still driving an old car," he said, referring to his vintage Porsche sportscar.yahoo.com
"It Has Been Going On For The Last 10 Years, This Problem Of Datuks Being Given Out (By Self-Proclaimed Royals)"
Danny Ooi, president of the Council of Federal Datuks, said people like Noor Jan must be stopped, "It has been going on for the last 10 years, this problem of Datuks being given out (by self-proclaimed royals)."msn.com
But Ooi admits money often changes hands even for legitimate investitures, though he terms it, “more as a contribution.”freemalaysiatoday.com