The Importance Of Datukship

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Too many Datuks For decades, the “Datuk” title is a testimony of the nation’s appreciation of an individual’s contribution to the society and nation. It is an honor to be awarded Datukship, as it symbolises the person’s integrity, honesty, virtue and selflessness. However, things have changed. The surge in the number of Datuks and lax conferment means that Datukship is no longer special and valuable. "Just throw a stone in the street and you 'll hit a Datuk," complains Datuk K. Basil, a policeman-turned-politician and one of many who feel the awarding of the coveted titles has got out of hand in a status-obsessed Malaysian society. In the past, awarding of Datukship was strictly controlled. In fact, Malaysian first Prime Minister, Tunku…show more content…
Patronage and favouritism dominate the Malaysian political scene, and it is admittedly more difficult for those who are unfortunately not blessed with connections, influence or even the Malay blood to be successful. To circumvent this, many resort to buying datukship, which they perceive as a form of investment with high payback. Datukship gives businessmen access to huge governmental projects, permits, grants, and even funds. It also clears the way for aspiring politicians to move up the political ladder. Most importantly, datukship forms a network of alliances between the elites and among the elites, which consequently widens the gap between the top and bottom. At the same time, it erodes the public serving ideal of politics and economic, and perpetuates corruption. The increased prestige and power bestowed by Datukship result in some people becoming more fearless in their wrongdoing and corrupt behaviours. This is not mere speculation. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of cases of Datuks being arrested for corruption, abuse of power, and money…show more content…
But the fact that a title that is supposed to honor one’s contribution is monetised does shed some light on the extent and pervasiveness of corruption in the country. There is a need for the government to seriously address corruption lest the country sinks deeper, even though it is difficult to imagine any other acts of corruption that can be more shoddy and disappointing than Najib’s 1MDB

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