Invalid titles: Some of the recipients posing with Datuk Seri Raja Merah Abdul Latif Hasim (centre, sitting) after receiving fake Datukships at the investiture ceremony recently.
MALACCA: The Malacca government has again reminded recipients of honorary titles conferred by the Naning chieftain that the state secretary will not recognise such unauthorised awards.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said honorary titles other than those conferred by the Malacca Governor were considered illegitimate and recipients of such fictitious awards would be barred from receiving any bona fide titles from the state in future.
“As I stated earlier, the Naning chieftain is only a customary position based on the Adat Perpatih system and the honorific titles conferred by him are not recognised by the Government,” said Idris when asked to comment on the investiture ceremony held by the Naning chieftain on May 24.
The investiture ceremony was held despite the state government’s strict warning in January against the issuance of any fake royal titles.
The state had said it would initiate drastic measures to clamp down on the activity by asking enforcement agencies and police to take action.
In the latest ceremony, scores of professionals, businessmen and
others were conferred Datukship awards by the Naning chieftain.
Idris said that despite widespread publicity on the matter early this year, many still believed that the titles conferred on them were real and that they were entitled to carry the honorific title in their names.
It is learnt that 19th Naning chieftain Datuk Seri Raja Merah Abdul Latif Hashim continued to confer the titles although Malacca’s Lembaga Adat Naning (Naning Customary Board) had accused him of peddling fake honorary titles in exchange for hefty sums.
The Star in an earlier report quoted secretary of the board Datuk Paduka Seri Syahbandar Omar Ali as claiming the chieftain was in cahoots with syndicates and earned commission from selling such illegal titles.
He said the chieftain was sacked seven years ago by the board, which appointed him in 2004, and he had no right to confer any Datukship.
In September last year, the board revealed that some 200 individuals nationwide had paid hefty sums for unrecognised Datukships during an investiture ceremony.