TTF: The DAP has always given the impression that it is “Dato’ free.”
In March 2017, its Secretary-General, Lim Guan Eng, told a banquet in Butterworth that the DAP did not believe in Datoships as the party was there to serve the people and not to bag titles or awards.
However, his statement was met with ire by the MCA’s Dato’ Tan Teik Cheng, who, on the 14th of March 2017, pointed out that the DAP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) itself had two Dato’s on board, namely Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham and Dato’ Teng Chang Khim.
Tan’s rebuke went a long way to show just how desperate the DAP was to appear righteous and people centric.
The party had always pandered to the aspirations of the Chinese who, on a broad scale, never truly regarded our rulers with esteem since before independence.
Yet, when Lim was asked to comment if his party would change its unwritten rule of not accepting titles, he refused to commit an answer and referred to the question as “dangerous.”
“If I answer we will accept, it will appear as if we are in for titles; if I say will not accept, we will appear as if we are disrespectful to the royalty.”
The year was 2012, and the month, August.
Back then, the country was preparing to go to the front amid rumours that Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak was about to dissolve parliament.
The rumours graduated into a general election that was eventually held on the 5th of May 2013.
The poll delivered a major upset to Barisan Nasional and saw the DAP trigger a Chinese tsunami even UMNO did not see coming.
The swing in the Chinese pendulum emboldened the DAP and prompted its leaders to fly straight in the face of our rulers.
In 2014, Lim Kit Siang more or less told Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah to butt out of state legislative matters amid attempts by (the now defunct) Pakatan Rakyat to topple the then Menteri Besar of Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
The senior Lim’s act of bigotry stood in stark contrast to the impression his son had given reporters when implying that the DAP had very high regards for our rulers.
Guan Eng knew then as he does now that the party never once gave a hoot about the Monarchical Institution and is as determined as ever to turn Malaysia into a republic.
The only reason he refused to commit an answer to reporters when asked if his party would change its unwritten rule of not accepting titles is because he didn’t want to risk offending the Chinese.
Lim preferred that the community thought of the DAP as a party that did not regard itself as being subject to the royal institution.
But now that the DAP is part of government, he has no reason to fear what the Chinese think no matter what he or his father does.
He knows as well as I do that the minute Dr Mahathir Mohamad is done crippling UMNO and amending the Federal Constitution, democracy in Malaysia will forever be reduced to a one-party system reminiscent of that found in republic dictatorships.
When that happens, people will be left with little option but to vote for Pakatan Harapan every time the Government of Malaysia (GoM) decides to bring the country to the front.
Why do you think the DAP no longer has qualms allowing its members to receive titles (see news item below)?
GEORGE TOWN: Three DAP politicians – former state exco members Lim Hock Seng and Danny Law Heng Kiang as well as ex-assemblyman A. Tanasekharan – are accorded Datukship in conjunction with Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas’ 80th birthday.
Lim and Law will be receiving the Darjah Yang Mulia Pangkuan Negeri (DMPN) award and Tanasekharan, the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN).
The three did not seek re-election in GE14.
State Secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said these politicians are the first ones to receive the titles under Pakatan Harapan after their retirement.
Other post-retirement DAP lawmakers who had been bestowed titles were Datuk Wong Han Yoke as well as the late Datuk Chian Heng Kai and the late Datuk Tan Loo Jit.
Lim said it has been an understanding in DAP since long ago that the members do not accept state awards when they are in public service as Members of Parliament or state assemblymen.
“It’s not a rule in our party, just a convention. But when we are no longer in public service, it doesn’t apply,” he said.
Lim added that after the Governor consented to the recommendation of the DAP-led state government to award them, “we found it difficult to decline.”
A total of 962 people will be receiving their awards from Abdul Rahman during the investiture ceremony at Dewan Sri Pinang starting today.
Another highlight of the ceremony will be the Pingat Gagah Perwira (PGP), which will be given to a member of the Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd auxiliary police, Konst Zaidi Salleh, who leapt off the second Penang bridge to save a woman earlier this year.
It is believed that the award, which is bestowed upon individuals who show extraordinary bravery in difficult situations, was last given out some 15 years ago.
Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin and businessman Tan Sri Tan King Tai @ Tan Khoon Hai will head the state honours list with conferment of the Darjah Panglima Pangkuan Negeri (DPPN), which accords the Datuk Seri title.
Thirteen people, including former Penang mayor and now executive director of UN-Habitat Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif and state police chief Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan, will receive the Darjah Gemilang Pangkuan Negeri (DGPN), which carries the Datuk Seri title.
Also receiving the DGPN title is QSR Brands managing director Datuk Mohamed Azahari Mohamed Kamil.
Among the 11 recipients who will be receiving the Darjah Yang Mulia Pangkuan Negeri (DMPN), which carries the title Datuk, are Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, former Penang police chief Comm Datuk Wira Chuah Ghee Lye and Western Digital (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd business and operations support senior director Datuk Syed Hussian Syed Junid.
A total of 62 people will receive the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN), which carries the title Datuk, including Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub and Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Yew Tung Seang.
Source: The Star Online