‘Datukship for Sale’. Anyone? – By Navinn Rajendran

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Probably if you pelt a stone at crowd, it might land on a Datuk/ Dato’s head. That’s how it has become today and many are indeed questioning the value of state awards and titles today. Extremely surprised with certain reports and news, I thought it might be timely for me to give it a try and find my way through to be a Dato, and I was almost there.

During my childhood as how someone completing Masters or PHD was a big deal, so was receiving Datoship. It was always a pleasure to meet a Dato or even to know one as they would have definitely been an individual who went his way out to contribute to the society through his/her service or position. It was always an honour to be a friend to a Dato’s child. Our parents never thought twice to call someone whom they used to address as Sir, Dato. Such was the prestige and the social status the title carried.

But in recent times, we have encountered many Datos’ not only online but also in our daily lives. Some of our friends have become Dato too and the flashback of how he /she used to be flashes frame by frame. But who are we to judge, but we can evaluate through the list of contribution that they have rendered.

What has 19 year old Alvin Gor contributed for Malaysia? What about Kollywood actor Radha Ravi? Have they contributed as much as Datuk Nicol David or Datuk Lee Chong Wei? With just 4 individuals you can see the vast difference. Imagine the rest.

Of course such news and conferment has led for many to question how it is being conferred now. I picked up one of the alleged way and decided to give it a try. I started looking out for ways to go about receiving title.

My quest landed me with a few contacts which promised me the Datoship which cost RM150,000 to be paid as donation. No other details were required. 8 state title was made available including the state of a very vocal royalty and it surprised me. I took it further for a meet up which led to further being showed of other recipients including photographs and certificates and other documents.

I was told to make a confirmation within few days but of course I rejected it with some lame excuse. But the best part of all is, the person whom made the titles available was not a Dato himself and he just drove a 25 year old car. It is basically through a third party but who has actually given them access to the palace and who gave them such a position?

How entitled are they for such a status is definitely a big question that remains unanswered. How many civil servants who have served more than 30 years been given recognition for their service?