TTF: Lim Guan Eng pledged today to come down hard on DAP members who accepted Datukships, state awards and medals during their tenure in office (see news item below).
If you recall, on the 15th of October 2018, I wrote a commentary that spoke of an article that Guan Eng’s father, Lim Kit Siang, hosted via the latter’s blog on the 12th of April 2010.
An excerpt of the said article went as follows:
“So many datuks and tan sris take themselves so seriously they will throw tantrums or threaten action if you fail to acknowledge their titles in public. This seems unbecoming, placing more emphasis on the title than the content of character or of personal calibre. You may be an excellent engineer or judge, say, but if you have to depend on an honorific to define you, that’s rather pathetic.
“Besides, it is public knowledge that not all titles are awarded to those who are deserving. Sometimes, it all boils down to connections. A majority of public servants, political leaders and civil service officials, seem to be automatically conferred.”
There wasn’t a disclaimer posted anywhere within the said article, meaning, Kit Siang more or less agreed with whatever Kee Thuan Chye, the author of the article, wrote.
Under the circumstances, we can assume that Guan Eng, who has yet to openly state his disagreement with his father or Thuan Chye, is also of the opinion that “not all titles are awarded to those who are deserving,” with “a majority of public servants, political leaders and civil service officials” being conferred titles due to their connections.
Guan Eng should immediately step forward to deny this, failing which we can conclude that the junior Lim construes the act of DAP members receiving Datukships, state awards and medals during their tenures in office as a tacit admission on their part that the honours may have been due to their ‘connections’.
I say this considering that the junior Lim plans to “come down hard on them” without once stopping to consider that the Datukships, state awards and medals could have been conferred on merit.
Lim also failed to consider, that DAP assemblymen who’re offered these honours are now part of a ruling coalition, meaning, the likelihood of them being conferred titles is much higher than before given their ability to contribute effectively and efficiently to their respective constituents owing to their connections to the Government of Malaysia (GoM).
Lim should realise, that this is no longer “an internal DAP matter,” but a confluence of innocent associations that are either direct or indirect, one being the connection of an MP or an ADUN to the GoM, and the other, his (or her) connection to a ruler or Yang Dipertua Negeri by virtue of his (or her) role.
So you see, on the one hand, you’re deemed to have insulted the GoM by not receiving a Datukship, state award or medal given that the honour serves also to recognise the GoM’s contribution to your constituents.
On the other, your refusal to accept an honour will be an insult to the ruler or Yang Dipertua Negeri who saw fit to confer that honour to you.
Perhaps now you understand why it is not so easy for one to act on an MP or an ADUN for receiving a Datukship, state award or medal, particularly if the MP or ADUN is part of a ruling coalition.
Perhaps also the junior Lim and his father can now understand why Kee Thuan Chye wrote a load of crap and why it was irresponsible for Kit Siang to have hosted the article without giving due consideration to the points I’ve raised above.
That having been said, if indeed the junior Lim’s mission is to infuse principles of Transparency, Accountability and Competency (CAT) into the DAP edifice, he should come down hard on himself first before anything else ‘on suspicion’ that he solicited his own freedom from Richard Malanjum and Tommy Thomas in Hanifiah’s presence the night before his acquittal (video below).
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP will take strict disciplinary action against members who do not adhere to the party’s long-standing rule against accepting Datukships, state awards and medals during their tenure in office.
Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said DAP members, especially those appointed as state executive committee (exco) members, must never “forget their roots” nor go against the DAP central executive committee’s decision on the matter.
The finance minister said DAP members who were elected into office must fervently hold on to the party’s basic struggles and strive to serve the people, not hanker after awards and titles.
“Remember the sacrifices of previous members who fought hard for a better and just country. They received nothing in return. Our struggle is not for the sake of positions.
“You have been exco members for just a few months and now you want to become Datukships. The (Penang) chief minister does not have a Datukship. I was Penang CM for 10 years but I am not a (Datuk). Does this mean I failed?
“I’m proud to be able to call you ‘saudara saudari’. As DAP secretary-general, I am warning those who have forgotten their roots that disciplinary action will be taken against them.
“It doesn’t matter what position you hold. Don’t play the fool with me,” Lim said in his speech during the Federal Territory DAP 2018 Convention at the party’s headquarters here today.
Present was DAP national chairman Tan Kok Wai, who is also Federal Territory DAP chairman.
Lim had previously chided several party leaders for accepting Datukships from state rulers, saying it did not reflect the party’s principles.
Lim did not mention names, but he was believed to be referring to several DAP elected representatives who were conferred awards by state rulers recently.
They are Bandar Hilir assemblyman Tey Kok Kiew and Bemban assemblyman Wong Fort Pin, who received the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM), which carries the title Datuk.
They received the awards in conjunction with the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka Tun Dr Mohd Khalil Yaakob’s 80th birthday on Oct 13.
Two Sabah DAP leaders, Stephen Wong dan Frankie Poon were conferred the Panglima Gemilang Darjah Kinabalu (PGDK), which also carries the title Datuk.
Fort Pin, Stephen and Poon have apologised to the DAP central leadership for accepting the awards. Tey, meanwhile, was recently described by Lim as “stubborn” for failing to apologise.
In his speech, Lim said DAP leaders who held positions in the government must show a good example to newer members by advocating the party’s policy of not accepting titles.
“Don’t go against the party or its leadership. Don’t forget that you are an elected representative for the people and not for yourself.
“Which is why I have to be strict against everyone who disrespects the party, regardless of their rank. I want new members to know that joining DAP is not about being comfortable. It’s about making sure our country and children are comfortable.”
Source: NST Online