Wednesday October 20, 2004

Selangor Sultan acts against six Datuks

BY FREDERICK FERNANDEZ

SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor has suspended with immediate effect the “Datuk” title given to six people who are facing criminal charges in the courts. 
The unprecedented ruling, made by Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah after deliberating with the state’s Council of Royal Court, means that the six are prohibited from using the title and thus cannot call themselves “Datuk” until they are cleared of the charges. 
The six are: 

  • former Perwaja Steel managing director Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock; 
  • former state assembly speaker Datuk Saidin Tamby; 
  • former state exco member Datuk Mohd Sharif Jajang; 
  • former UiTM dean Datuk Mohd Saberi Mohd Salleh; 
  • former Tabung Haji senior general manager (investment) Datuk Mohamad Shafie; and 
  • Indonesian businessman Datuk Kenneth Chow alias A. Wira Tjakrawinata. 
    State secretary Datuk Mohd Adzib Mohd Isa, who conveyed the Sultan’s decision yesterday, said the six were barred from using the title during the court proceedings. 
    “Should they be convicted of the charges brought before them, the awards and titles given to them will be revoked,” he told a press conference yesterday. 
    Mohd Adzib, who retired yesterday, made the announcement in the presence of Council of Royal Court secretary Datuk Munir Bani and council member Tan Sri Mohd Azmi Kamaruddin. 
    Munir said the Sultan made the ruling because he was not happy with recent developments in which individuals conferred Datuk titles have been implicated in criminal activities. 
    “The Sultan’s decision only applies to those awarded state titles and facing criminal charges for corruption or criminal activities during his reign, which began in November 2001,” he said. 
    Chia was conferred the Dato’ Seri Indera Alam Diraja, which carries the title Dato’ Diraja, in 1985; Saidin the Darjah Kebesaran Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Selangor (DPMS) in 1985; while Chow obtained his DPMS in 1999. 
    Saberi and Mohamad Shafie were awarded the Darjah Kebesaran Dato’ Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (DSSA) in 1999 while Sharif was awarded the DPMS in 1991 and the Darjah Kebesaran Setia-Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (SSA) in 1988.
    Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"