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DAP CEC consented to my Datukship

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Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham stressed that the party’s central executive committee had consented to the Datukship that was conferred upon him.

He said he had discussed the matter with the CEC then and that there had been differing views.

“Karpal Singh objected during the meeting. However, most of the CEC felt I should concentrate on my job rather than get sidetracked by the issue, so they gave their approval.”

“I can accept Karpal’s views because as social democrats, the party is against class creation through titles but I believe he should also respect the views of the majority,” said Ngeh who was awarded the Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak, which carries the title of Datuk, in 2008.

He said he had never sought the Datukship.

“I have never asked for the Datuk title.

“Even when my name was suggested, I told Datuk Seri Muhammad Nizar Jamaluddin (the then Mentri Besar) not to send it in,” he said.

Ngeh said his lifestyle had not changed despite getting a Datukship.

“I still eat chap fan (mixed rice) with the people.

“I think the party can accept the title as it was awarded in appreciation of the service done for the people,” he said.

He declined to comment further when asked about Karpal’s comment that the party would take action against members who accept such titles in future.

Meanwhile, Selangor State Assembly Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim chided Karpal for “harping on matters which were of no significance to DAP’s political and social agenda.

“Karpal should demonstrate political maturity required of a senior political leader by talking more about public policies than harping on matters of his personal opinion which will not help the party to build a truly multi-racial party in the pursuit to win Putrajaya,” said Teng when contacted in Guangzhou.

He said DAP did not have any policy restraining its members from accepting Datukships and asked the party chairman to show him central executive committee minutes which stated so.

Teng said in his case he had not applied for his Datukship that was conferred in 2010.

When the Sultan (Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah) conferred the award and title, it was only proper to accept it respectfully, he added.  –  The Star