BY LEE YUK PENG
MALACCA: Eighty-three people half of them affiliated to political parties were made Datuks and were among nearly 890 people who received state awards and honours in conjunction with the 66th birthday of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Malacca, Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob, today.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi heads the list with the states highest award, the Darjah Utama Negeri Melaka (DUNM), which carries the title Datuk Seri Utama.
Four people received the Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (DGSM), which carries the title Datuk Seri, while five others were named Datuk Wira when they were bestowed the Darjah Cemerlang Seri Melaka (DCSM).
Seventy-three recipients were awarded the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM), which carries the title Datuk.
Among the recipients of the DGSM were Cabinet ministers Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin (Rural and Regional Development Ministry) and Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir (Information Ministry).
The two other recipients of the award are Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
Those received the DCSM include Datin Seri Asmah Ab Rahman, the wife of Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam; and State Secretary Ahmad Rusli Joharie.
The others are Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahaya Hussin, state Industry, Trade, Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Hamzah and 4B Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Jamaludin Abdul Rahim.
Datuk Bandar of Malacca Zaini Md Nor was among recipients of the DMSM. Other recipients included Multimedia University president Prof Dr Ghauth Jasmon and G.N. Chidammparam, chief executive officer of the Datuk Dr Ganesha Group, the developer who donated RM435,000 to help relocate the SRK (C) Ek Tee school in Tanjung Kling.
Also in the list are Higher Education director Prof Dr Hasan Mohd Said, Dr T. Ramu of the Southern Hospital here and Dr V. Valliappa Kathiresan of the National Heart Institute.
Politicians who received the DMSM, among others, are: Gadek state assemblyman Abdul Ghafar Atan, Kota Kinabalu Umno division chief Faisyal Yusof Hamdain Diego, Rasah Umno division chief Hasim Rusdi, Bera MP Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Kepala Batas Umno treasurer Md Kamal Bilal, Setiu Umno division chief Jidin Shapee, Sikamat assemblyman Yusof Harmain Shah, Kelantan Umno executive secretary Nik Mahiddin Nik Mustafa, Kota Melaka Wanita Umno chief Rabiyah Ali and Gombak MP Raman Ismail.
Among the prominent people from the media and literary world who received awards were former journalist and writer Khalid Jafri Bakar Shah, who authored the controversial book 50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM, and editor of the Malay tabloid Harian Metro, Hafifi Hafidz. They were both recipients of the DMSM.
Reporters Yew Mei Kuan from China Press and Idzham Hadi Sidik from Berita Harian were among 270 to receive the Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK).
The Star vendor P. Sellan Krishnasamy, who is also the Kota Melaka MIC treasurer, was awarded the Bintang Khidmat Terpuji (BKT).
Ayer Limau state assemblyman Idderis Kassim and MP for Kinabatangan Datuk Moktar Radin were among 31 others conferred with the title Justice of Peace.
Donald Wee from the Prisons Department and SAC Koh Hong Sun, commandant of the Police Training Centre in Jalan Semarak, were conferred with Darjah Seri Melaka (DSM).