KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 – The issue of DAP members in state governments receiving the Datukship award this month is an important matter that warrants the party’s Central Executive Council to meet, says Lim Guan Eng.
It is left to be seen if any disciplinary action will be taken against the four men, two from Melaka and two from Sabah who were announced under the two state’s recent Honours list.
Lim cited the late Karpal Singh and his father, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang as two examples of leaders who had refused any award previously.
“Even new Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari from Parti Amanah Negara did not accept the award, “he said, adding that the CEC would discuss the matter as the explanations given by the award recipients were “unacceptable”.
On Saturday, Bandar Hilir assemblyman Tey Kok Kiew and Bemban assemblyman Wong Fort Pin, were conferred the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM), which carries the title “Datuk”, in conjunction with the 80th birthday celebration of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Melaka, Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob.
Last week, two Sabah DAP ministers, namely Stephen Wong and Frankie Poon, were awarded the Panglima Gemilang Darjah Kinabalu (PGDK), which also comes with the title “Datuk”, in conjunction with the 65th birthday celebration of the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
No awards while in office or as elected reps
Lim had previously been reported as saying that party members are not allowed to accept any titles or awards while in office or being elected representatives.
“This has been an understanding in DAP since long ago that the members do not accept state awards when they are in public service as MP or state assemblymen.
“It’s not a rule in our party, just a convention. But when we are no longer in public service, it doesn’t apply,” he had said, when referring to how three veteran DAP members – two ex-state exco members and one ex-assemblyman – in Penang were conferred Datukship in July.
Receiving awards against true spirit of party
Lim added that DAP members accepting the accolades did not reflect the true spirit of the party struggle, Bernama reported.
“It gives the wrong impression to the people. I don’t want my words to be seen as being disrespectful, but why should our leaders accept such awards during our first year. Prove our performance in serving the people first.
“If this upsets certain quarters, I apologise because I feel this is very important as DAP does not go after position,” he was quoted as saying by the national news agency.
New Datuk says he didn’t want to insult state governor
Meanwhile, Datuk Wong from Melaka has reportedly offered to return the award which was bestowed on him, claiming he had not paid much attention to DAP policy on the matter.
Bahasa Malaysia daily Sinar Harian reported him as saying that he will return the award if the party leadership tells him to do so.
Wong, who is the Melaka state legislative assembly deputy speaker however, denied seeking such an award, saying that he accepted it after being named by the state government as he did not want to be seen as insulting the state governor.
“If the party asks me to return the award, I will do so.
“I’m feeling guilty now being in this predicament. I had only accepted from the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, because it’s not polite for me to reject the award,” Wong was quoted saying by Sinar Harian.