Give or revoke honorific titles to those who deserve it

By Bernie Yeo


POLICE recently revealed that it had identified and are going after drug lords with ‘Tan Sri’ and ‘Datuk Seri’ titles who are allegedly running the country’s largest narcotics cartels under the guise of operating legitimate businesses.

The drug lords are believed to have used hotel, shipping, logistics and iron companies as fronts for their illegal activities, including the distribution of cocaine abroad.

While it may sound far-fetched, it actually is not. More surprisingly, is the fact that it has been going on for quite some time.

During his tenure as a criminal investigation director (CID) director, deputy inspector-general of police (IGP) and eventually IGP between 2003 and 2008, former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said to The Sun that he had aggressively gone after notorious kingpins, arresting six Datuks and Datuk Seris who were involved in activities such as gambling, loan-sharking drugs and prostitution.

The crime kingpins’ close ties with politicians, it has been revealed, is what has enabled them to obtain such titles and run their illegal businesses unhindered.

This therefore begs the question: why are crooks awarded state and federal titles in the first place, even when they have criminal records?

The answer is perhaps due to the lack of a strict due diligence process to review the backgrounds of a candidate for such awards.

Beyond police scrutiny and review by a vetting committee, more important is a report by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the candidates’ academic and professional qualifications.

Simply put, their character should also be scrutinised – and verified, of course – with credible persons, and the number of those holding such titles ought to be reduced.

The honorific titles of these crime lords should be revoked, and necessary actions need to be taken in order to bring these criminals to justice.

After all, these honorific titles should only be awarded to those deserving of it for their contributions to society. Otherwise, it will not be fair to those who earn it due to criteria, credibility and hard work. – Mar 8, 2021


Photo credit: Stuff NZ

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