It seems that anyone can get a “Datuk” or “Datin” title in Malaysia these days. Yesterday (Thursday, 4th March), 3 individuals were apprehended under the Offences Relating to Awards Act 2017.
A married couple, aged 43 and 49, had apparently used fake “Datuk” and “Datin” titles as the founder and secretary of their association, Gabungan Datuk-Datuk Malaysia (GDDM). The group’s publicist – a 57-year-old man, was caught as well.
Melaka police chief Abdul Majid Mohd Ali informed reporters that the trio were detained in Bangi, Selangor on 30th January to facilitate investigations under Section 12(2) of the Act. It is believed that they had organised a dinner at a hotel in Jalan Hang Tuah sometime in August 2020, where 120 other people were in attendance.
“Preliminary investigations found that the main suspect, a businessman, had led the association and the letters and titles they received were fake and believed to have been awarded by the so-called ‘Sultan Keradjaan Indragiri’, who is based in a neighbouring country (Indonesia),” Majid was quoted as saying.
The investigation revealed that the 3 suspects had never received the Darjah Kebesaran Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan nor the Darjah Kebesaran Negeri. “We have also confiscated items such as certificates, letters and the list of recipients of awards and medals,” the officer added.
In the meantime, the police are on the lookout for the other fake “Datuks” who have committed fraud. To quote a commentator, “Malaysia is a screwed up country with many self entitlement from irrelevant monarchy that doesn’t bring any good to overall society. A conferral status should only be given based on contribution and best interest done for the country.”