Press Digest: Price tags on Datuk, Datuk Seri titles

11 Jan 2016 / 14:38 H.

    PETALING JAYA: Malaysians looking to boost their social status are willing to spend thousands of ringgit to be awarded with fake honorary titles.
    Utusan Malaysia reported that several 'raja' and 'sultan' from neighbouring countries have been known to award titles such as Datuk and Datuk Seri to those willing to spend a fortune.
    Although the 'rulers' were not recognised in Malaysia, many people are prepared to pay RM40,000 to be 'conferred' the title Datuk, and a whopping RM100,000 for Datuk Seri, just to improve their public image.
    It is understood that although the government does not recognise such titles and thus they cannot be used here, weaknesses in the law allow these individuals to do so.
    According to the report, the conferment ceremony is held during the birthday of the 'raja' and 'sultan' involved, with almost all recipients of the 'titles' coming from Malaysia.
    It added the ceremony could be held either in Malaysia or in the 'rulers' own country, depending on the timing and requirements of the recipients.
    It is believed that those interested to receive the titles need to contact an intermediary from the 'palace' who would arrange the payment method and date of conferment.
    The payments also did not end after receiving the a'ward' as the recipient later had to present a 'reward' to the 'raja' and 'sultan' which involved thousands or ringgit, said the report.
    Those 'conferred' with the 'Datuk and Datuk Seri' titles would include them in their namecards to convince the public of their position.
    The Malay daily also quoted Minister in Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim as saying the matter of the awarding of fake honorary titles would be brought to the Cabinet.

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