Monday, August 10, 2009

Where did he get his Datukship?

To the lockup: Koay (left) covering his face while being led out of the magistrate’s court with the other accused yesterday.
He has five previous convictions for theft, firearms offences and corruption, yet he kept his Datukship. Yesterday, Datuk Koay Khay Chye, 52, and five others were charged in Penang with trafficking 300kg Erimin pills worth RM20million. They were arrested during a raid on July 28 at Sungai Dua.

The public are left wondering where he got his title from - didn't the state which conferred him the title carry out any vetting with the police and Bank Negara? In the case of Selangor, the palace carries out strict checks before titles are conferred and a website has even been set up for the public to check. It is important that we know where Koay got his title, so upon conviction, the Datukship should be revoked. For that matter, the previous convictions are sufficient grounds for a revocation.

One personality, calling himself a Datuk Setia, in a trade organisation leadership fight, has been telling members that he is a Datuk from Selangor. Checks were made with the palace secretariat and an official has confirmed that he has never received any awards, not even a PJK, from the state.

There must be ways to prevent dubious characters from making such claims. I believe it is a crime. The Conference of Rulers should make a decision to set up websites, like the one set up by Selangor, where the public can scrutinise the list for themselves.

All states should stipulate in the state constitutions the maximum number of Datukships and other awards that would be given out each year. The situation has become so bad that there are perceptions, even allegations, that such awards can be purchased in one or two states.

The endless list of recipients each year has certainly lent credence to such allegations. More often than not, these recipients do not have strong credentials, besides being businessmen. For the record, businessmen create jobs and help increase the country's revenue. The congratulatory advertisements help newspapers earn money for sure but contribution to the state and country must go beyond that.


Frank Tang said...

Fully agreed. Suggest the authorities concerned vet thru the list of recipients on a regular basis in order to weed out those crooks.

Anonymous said...

Someday there will be more datuks than enciks

James Khoo said...

For obvious reasons, Datuks are no longer held in as high respect these days as they were in the past. No wonder many Datuks, like yourself, seldom reveal they are Datuk so-and-so. It is a sad thing that even this exalted fellowship has been corrupted.

Anonymous said...

There should be a website listing the profiles & contributions of ALL title holders for the public to view, contacts and addresses can leave out for security reasons. This is one way to hold them accountable to their actions as well as 'shy away' those who use dubious means to 'lobby' for such awards.

For FAR TOO LONG, so called Datuks have been throwing their weights around. I have been threatened in the past not to complain about shoddy workmanship of my contractor because it is 'backed by a Datuk'. Tons of similar stories like mine everyday.

HeadLiner said...

You can check on Selangor recipients of awards here:

David Lee said...

........tell them that is human nature.....why ....why.....God Save Malaysia...where are we all heading???

najib manaukau said...

Just pick up a stone and throw, you will surely hit a Dato !
To become a Dato is whole lot easier than hitting a jackpot anywhere in Malaysia.
One can even buy a Dato-ship, this is a well known fact. In a few more years you can bet your bottom dollar everyone will become a Dato.

amoker said...

Beer belly and have a merc/ BMW, then go around being called Datuk. That is how easy it is. hehe

Agree with this and that datukship is not a franchise.

Anonymous said...

Let's have a law that in public, everyone is addressed by Encik, Cik or Puan, regardless of what titles he or she has. Attending public functions, I have gotten tired of hearing Tan Sri Tan Sri Datok Seri Datok Seri Dato Dato Datin Datin tuan tuan dan puan puan at the beginning of each speech. Cant we have a simple Tuan tuan dan puan puan? My opinion is that whatever title that is awarded to you is between you and the state, it is none of my business and I am not obliged even to know it. Right En Wong?

Unknown said...

Dear Wong,

Why covet after Datukship???

One thing is certain. i will be called a Datuk one day.

No. This Datuk is not bestowed by any ruler or yang di pertua.

When I become a datuk (grandpa) one day, then I will get my datukship.

Free and no big deal!!!!

ong said...

Wong Chun Wai pretending he does not know how crooks get their Datukships!

Anonymous said...

But DS WCW, everybody in Malaysia knows that everything in Malaysia can be bought at a price. So is it any wonder then that businessmen and gangster chiefs can get datukships? After all they are the ones with money to spare. And status and egos are what many of these kinds want and need, so what is a couple of hundred thousand ringgit to these blokes? The people to blame are the ones selling the titles. In fact, we should do away with all these titles if we call ourselves Muslims, Christians or Buddhists. Carrying these titles would not be consistent with the ideals and practices of all these 3 major religions. The titles imply ego, pride, pomposity and inequality of human beings. We should follow the American system and do away with such titles. I like the way the president of the most powerful country in the world is addressed: "Mr. President". Nice and short, but everybody knows he is powerful despite the lack of pompous titles.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...


It seems so easy to get a self-declared title
Even faster than boiling water with any kettle
Wearing the false armour in the conning battle
Trying to get more than the usual share of bread and butter

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 110809
Tue. 11th Aug. 2009.

Anonymous said...

better check with Pahang State..
ask the state secretary to come out with a list and i'm sure alot of people will be astonished by the number of datukship being award each year.

you will be even baffled by the datukship being confer to..

trust me you will surprise

Anonymous said...

I went to a wedding dinner last month. There were so many datuks and Tan Sris there that if you throw a flower pot, the probability is so high that it will hit one of these buggers.

I think we are over populated with these creatures.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Wong,

Aren't you a Datuk?


fussypot said...

Anonymous 4.11pm.
Its happening now. There are more Datuks than enciks.
In my neighborhood, i turn left, right, front, back are all Datuks.
I go to functions almost all are datuks.
And some of them look and act like taukeh beras. LOL.
I am ashamed to be a datuk.
I value datuks who are grandparents.

Anonymous said...

In Malaysia, the elite of society have so many titles that people cannot remember their names. And I hate public speeches, where the speaker have to read out the names of the many Tan Sris, Dato Seris, Datuk Datuk, members of the press,da da da , before we get to the Tuan Tuan and Puan Puan. When I had to give a speech, I hated this part the most, but my PR people always insisted I had to do it or else the so called VIPs may get offended. Frankly the most important people in the audience are the customers, and they hate his long winded introduction. And this is repeated by each person that came up to talk. I don't understand why the rich and powerful in Malaysia are so obsessed with titles and hearing their names being mentioned by the speakers at the beginning of a speech.

Anonymous said...

This is all about market forces.
The Malaysians are brainwashed to value titles that are not earned via intellectual achievement. As long as there is a demand, then there is a willing seller. And why not, a few hundred grand for dishing out a dato title is quite lucrative. Honestly I would do it if I am in a position to do it. I could earn a few million each birthday. Don't blame the seller. Blame the buyer. They are the suckers and the ego maniacs. Some are even willing to buy from some obscure Filipino "sultans". Come to think of it, maybe I should go buy over some small island and call myself the King or something, and start dishing out titles like Lords, Barons, Datos, or whatever the buyer wants! I am sure the Malaysians will be my biggest clientele, followed by the Brits.

Anonymous said...

The datuk titles are so abundant now, the desperados are now buying "Honorary Doctorate" degrees!!!
I have absolutely no respect for people who did not earn their "Doctor" degree via intellectual studies and achievements. Some of these highly successful businessmen would have been more respected if they had not resorted to buying their "Honorary Doctorate" degree, which make them look like egoistic clowns, with their employees and associates sniggering behind their backs. And their suppliers taking our big advertisements to advertise these idiotic egomaniac "doctors" stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Aiyaya, nowadays there are so many datuks that as long as you drive a merc and got some spare cash to throw around, people will assume you are a datuk. And if you call up a restaurant to book a table as Datuk So and So, nobody will question if you are indeed a datuk. And even if you are not rich, nobody will question you either, as many datuks have fallen victims too in the previous Ringgit crisis. And anyway the restaurants don't care if you are real datuk or not as long as you spend well and pays well.

Anonymous said...

Short polite honorable titles should be shortened to something the simple folks can remember, like:
"Your Majesty" for the royals, and for the Prime Minister, it should be, "Mr Prime Minister", etc and of course said in the Bahasa equivalent if the addresses are in Bahasa. If it is anything else longer, the ordinary folks will find hard to remember. Who can keep track of who is Tan Sri and who is Dato, or Tun. Only the politicians will bother to keep track.

Anonymous said...

Whilst visiting Malaysia in May a close friend told me he had been offered a job in an illegal casino. I implored him not to accept out of fear for his well being and perhaps his freedom. He shrugged off my comments with one of his own. "Don't worry. The customers are mostly Datuk's and members of the legal fraternity. There's no chance of it being raided."

I didn't believe him then.

I'm starting to believe him now!