The Chinese penchant for Datukships

Chinese towkays and underworld bosses who pay money or serve the interest of Umno, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, etc., always receive a Datukship even if they are slime-balls and scumbags.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

To the lockup: Koay (left) covering his face while being led out of the magistrate’s court with the other accused yesterday.


Where did he get his Datukship?
Wong Chun Wai

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.


Wong Chun Wai, the Group Chief Editor of The Star, appears perplexed as to how crooks and scum-of-the-earth can get Datukships. Surely he, of all people, would know that Datukships can be bought, sometimes up to RM250,000 per Datukship or more.

Those who buy Datukships are mainly Chinese with plenty of money. Malays also do sometimes buy Datukships as well but they need not really pay money for their Datukship. All they need to do is to ‘serve Umno’ and the Datukship will come pretty fast. You see, political parties have a quota for Datukships and this quota is given to ‘loyal’ Umno people or, in the case of MCA, MIC, etc., can be sold on condition that those who wish for a Datukship can slip RM250,000 into the pocket of the President.

Then, of course, we have the Datukships given by the Rulers to their friends and business partners. For all that money you wasted to pay for the Ruler's overseas trips and whatnot you receive a Datukship in return. Sometimes the Rulers also sell these Datukships for RM250,000 or whatever the asking price is nowadays.

First these people crave for money. After they have plenty of money then they crave for prestige. And in Malaysia prestige can be bought. So millionaires who are overflowing with money would not hesitate to spend a mere RM250,000 for a Datukship. That is pittance. In fact, once they get their Datukship they can always make back more than this.

A millionaire Chinese Datuk can throw his weight around and demand government officers do this and that. Most government officers are Malays and therefore very feudalistic in thinking. They get intimidated by someone who is a Datuk, what more if it is a filthy rich Datuk on top of that. So rich Chinese Datuks can get away with murder, sometimes literally as well.

Why is Wong Chun Wai puzzled? I am sure he would know by now how the system works. Chinese towkays and underworld bosses who pay money or serve the interest of Umno, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, etc., always receive a Datukship even if they are slime-balls and scumbags. That is how it works and has always worked from way back,

Hold on! Is not Wong Chun Wai also a Datuk?  I hope it is not for…well…you know what.