Friday, June 11, 2010

Jui Meng stripped of Johor datuk-ship

Md Imraz Muhammed Ikhbal: What is a 'datukship'? Wasn't it supposed to be an honorific title conferred by the esteemed monarch to those deserving for their noble deeds to the country? Wasn't that the reason why datukships were so sought after as a trophy of pride and honour?

Now let's re-examine and re-evaluate this entire concept and compare it to what we have currently. Today, we witness how the rulers reduced themselves to being no more than a political stooge of the ruling elites. Today, we witness defecting MPs who betray their voters being conferred datukship while those like Chua Jui Meng, who struggle for the cause of the rakyat, being stripped off it.

Rulers who were once objects of reverence are today the subject of ridicule. The palace is today perceived not as a monumental pride but a laden burden to the public. So is there honour still in titles from the royals? Isn't datukship from the palace today a degradation to one's dignified standing in the society?

Chua Jui Meng is actually blessed if only he knew!

EthnicMalaysian: Ah, Mr Chua Jui Meng. Welcome back to the realm of the masses. You should be celebrating the revocation of your datukship. At least now, you won't be mistaken for a triad boss, loan-shark taiko, illegal sports betting kingpin, pimp master, smuggling tycoon, AP rent-seeker, corrupted government official, or a 20-year-old girl who happens to play squash very well.

Suhaimi Said: The datukship is a remnant of feudalism. If you struggle for the rakyat, you care less whether you carry the datukship or otherwise. As far as I am concerned, all Pakatan Rakyat leaders should not use the title Dato, Dato Seri, Datuk or Tan Sri, although they carry the title.

Multi Racial: I would rather the rulers take back all the datukships, Tan Sris and Tuns. Award those who really did something special for the country. Right now, many got their titles for serving in the government services. That should stop - it is their job and they were paid for it.

Malaysians are still surprise how so many out there got their titles. It has to be given only to those who did something exceptional for the country. Otherwise, there is nothing special about the titles. Chua might as well give them back.

Tan Kian Khim: The petty churlishness and blatant partisanship displayed by the Johor palace and its Umno-BN advisors serve only to further devalue the already marginal value of the Malaysian royalty.

I hope Chua Jui Meng will just return the titles and laugh it off like a gentleman. The vast majority of the palace awards are worthless anyway - the simple and unpalatable fact is that the plethora of palace awards are used mainly as palace currency by the various royal houses, instead of their original purpose of honouring upstanding members of society.

These titles are utterly meaningless as an indicator of the quality of an individual. One needs only look at the 'outstanding' quality of the many obnoxious and downright despicable title-bearing characters who populate the ranks of Umno-BN.

Gerald: Titles are superficial and artificial egoism among the rakyat. My late granduncle was conferred a datukship by the Perak royalty. His immediate task upon the title conferment was to settle the debts incurred by the royalty in rest houses in the state.

It was the beginning of being a paymaster for all occasions, including birthdays, child birth, weddings and engagement as well as any celebration among the royalty. Sponsorship is an unwritten rule.

Kumara: The royalty have on numerous occasions shown their true colours, though they preach about being apolitical. Fortunately, it is common knowledge that this so-called honorific title has been sullied by the indiscriminate process of bestowing for monetary remuneration.

Stephanie Yeap: CJM (Chua Jui Meng), I am sure you recognise this Bible passage: 'Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.' So you will not be surprised about this incident. The Bible also tells us what happens to those who persecute others. So continue to live a righteous life.

Ozzie Jo: Perhaps this is the cross you have to carry when you decide to cross over from the dark side. We all have to sacrifice for something we believe in. If you truly believe that you have done the right thing, then gladly give them up, or perhaps give them up before they even asked for them.

Bobby Chang: Learn from Mr Lim Kit Siang. He has served the people consistently since the 60s, arrested under ISA twice and until now in his 60s still strong and well. They can call you all names, whether good or bad. But at the end of the day, truth will prevail.

Geronimo: There is a saying that when you throw a stone, you will end up hitting three datuks. That clearly shows such titles come by dimes and dozens. Don't even bother to ask why they revoked the titles.

Be dignified enough to return to them with your head held high. You may even like to call up the Pahang and Selangor palaces whether they also would like their titles back as I am sure you would not like further surprises to be sprung on you.

Such a callous act on the part of the Johor palace will only drive more Chinese to the opposition. So MCA, the grave has gone another couple of feet deeper for you.
Shanmuganathan: The giving of titles is the prerogative of the sultan. The withdrawal of titles is also his right. We can only postulate on the reason or reasons for the withdrawal. It may not be political.

I have attended a function long ago where Chua Jui Meng (then health minister) openly rebuked the present sultan's father on his conduct at the function. Such was the power of Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the royalty, and such was the arrogance of his ministers. Only Chua and HRH the sultan know best.

Firefly: As Chua Jui Meng has not brought disrepute to his titles, this is the clearest demonstration that our sultans are dispensing the titles and medals as objects of personal and political patronage. For recipients who hungrily lap it all up, these titles are less badges of honour than advertisements for social standing and access to personages and opportunities.

It should be noted that in 1992, it was an incident involving the assault of a hockey coach and the Johor palace that initiated a series of events which culminated in the amendment to the constitution in 1993 with the aim of removing the legal immunity of the royalty, to Dr M's eternal credit.

Perhaps it is appropriate that the Johor palace replays history and initiates a debate on the value and purpose of titles. I would suggest that it is common sense that the dignity of titles is best preserved and maintained when they are not the outcome of partisanship.

Anakswasta: Over the years of my working life as a professional, I have met one or two 'agents' who sell 'datukship' for a price. Way back in the 70s, I was offered datukship for RM130,000. In the 80s, I was again offered datukship, this time it went up to RM250,000. In the 90s, no offer came.

But recently, I was again approached but this time it's a datukship for only RM50,000. What do you make of this? I say, datukships are now cheaper and cheaper as there are less takers.

I am talking from experience and this is no tall story. So to CJM, I say let it go with pleasure, then we can all meet up with you at the mamak stall and watch the World Cup. No decorum needed. Maybe someone in the palace wants to recycle the datukship to make some money.

Singa Pura Pura: Jimmy, just remember what the Prince of Denmark once said: You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal.


keyword: "Today, we witness defecting MPs who betray their voters being conferred datukship while those like Chua Jui Meng, who struggle for the cause of the rakyat, being stripped off it."

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