Sunday, March 23, 2008

Titles, Honors, Hypocrisy and Self Righteousness

Opposition politicians should surrender their state titles.

To wage war against UMNO yet keep UMNO-associated titles smacks of hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

Titles, Honors, Hypocrisy and Self Righteousness

There is something about Malaysia and Malaysians that I can never gel with.

There is little doubt that the element of feudalism is still heavy and pungent in our evolving society.

The most ominous evidence of it is manifested in the form of titles and honors.

People address so-called VIPs as Datuk, Datuk Seri and Tan Sri, and they take extra care to ensure that no one with a title or an elongated one is addressed wrongly or deficiently. At government ceremonies, so much time and attention is devoted to addressing a fellow human being in the right manner and in the proper order. It must be Datuk Seri and not Dato’ Seri, Datuk Dr. Hj. and not Datuk Hj. Dr.

Folks who have studied in our local universities will definitely remember the mouthful manner in which we address Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr. Hj. Christians who go to that mega church in Damansara Indah are well acquainted with their beloved Reverend Datuk Dr. Pastor.

I do not know if this fixation on titles and honors are found only in Malaysia or if it is a general obsession throughout the world. What I do know though, is that the President of the United States of America is addressed as Mr. President, period. The Prime Minister of England is addressed as Mr. Prime Minister, full stop.

Titles and honors in Malaysia are greatly overrated, especially more so since most recipients are loyalists to the ruling party or anyone who has enough cash to lobby for a title. In most nations, titles and state honors are accorded in few numbers and only to the most distinguished individuals. In our country, one’s Datukship is more often than not an identification of one’s allegiance to the Datuk Seri who in turn is closely aligned to that Tan Sri.

State titles have long been a source of abuse. They are the means to attain that multi-million ringgit contract, the short cut to get something done in one’s favor, the gateway to meet another titled personality.

Personally, I have come to regard most state titles as a badge of shame and a mark of treason.

State titles are awarded by the royalty, but seriously, do we really believe that royalty awards titles totally independent of UMNO/BN’s ‘recommendation’ and ‘advice’?

Does anyone honestly think that the royalties of each state are of full knowledge regarding the people they award with PJK, JP, AMN, ETC?

Most titled persons can never deny that the only reason behind their state titles was their blind loyalty to a corrupted regime.

That is exactly why I personally think that Anwar Ibrahim and his band of PKR brothers should abandon their titles and state honors as a matter of principle. Anwar Ibrahim received his Datukship while he was still in UMNO, so did Khalid Ibrahim.

Why are they still proudly carrying those titles now?

If they are currently of the stand that UMNO is a party that has brought rot to the nation by their corrupt practices, is it not logical that the titles bestowed by that corrupted party is contaminated with nepotism and cronyism too?

To wage war against UMNO yet keep UMNO-associated titles smacks of hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

That of course, is only my humble opinion.


CK Tan said...

agree. i always think it's a waste of time. in any government event or school ceremonies for exampple, the speeches made if full of those Dato', Datuk etc and it's a total waste of time. mouthful, in a bad way.
and don't forget abt the Yang Amat Berhormat, Yang Mulia, Yang Berbahagia n tonnes of hierarchy of not referring them in the wrong sequence!!!

i think they can forget the title and ask pp to address them as usual citizen. if they really contribute, pp will recognize them with or without the so-called titles

Anonymous said...

How about "Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Pehin Professor Dr Ir Taihe Mah Moh" . Anyway Tan Sri was originally given out as Tan until Mr Das the former DG of sewerage was awarded one. They thought it was not appropriate to address him as Tan Das, Director General of Sewerage. Thus Tan Das became Tan Sri Das. Damn Das otherwise all the Tans in this country will have a free ride.

siang said...

During my brain washing session aka induction in pangkor, I made similar comment in front of the whole class.
Personally, I think Malaysian are too obsess with their title. Just imagine if a lowly house officer adress a surgeon a doctor instead of mister. Hell will definately break loose.

P.s. I did not read this blog prior to making my comment.

Kong said...

Being active in community of a small town in Sarawak, my father in law was once being offered some title which he rejected. His reasoning was simply: He doesn't fancy the thought of having to stand under the sun & rain on airport tarmac welcoming some big shot. Yes, he is a very humble & God fearing man.