GEORGE TOWN: Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Haji Mohamad (pic) and PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be conferred the state's highest awards in conjunction with Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas' 70th birthday celebrations tomorrow.
Abdul Hamid, Penang's first Chief Justice, will be awarded the Darjah Utama Pangkuan Negeri (DUPN) which carries the title Datuk Seri Utama, while Opposition Leader Wan Azizah will be awarded the Darjah Panglima Pangkuan Negeri (DPPN) which carries the title Datuk Seri in the list of award recipients released this morning.
Seven will be awarded the Darjah Gemilang Pangkuan Negeri (DGPN) which also carries the title Datuk Seri.
They are ACA director-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan; Ewein Berhad chairman Datuk Ewe Tiong Hor; Halal Industry Development Corp chief executive officer Datuk Jamil Bidin; Pakatan International, Md Isahak dan Rakan-Rakan Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Md Isahak Md Yusuf; Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican; Ivory Properties Group executive director Datuk Nazir Ariff and Pensonic Holdings Berhad executive director Tan King Tai @ Tan Khoon Hai.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the number of Datukships awarded would be significantly lower compared with last year.
“I am not certain of the exact number but the list will contain fewer than 40 names, which is less than half of last year's number,” he said.
He said no other state MP, assemblyman and Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) or Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) councillors would receive any awards this year.
“We believe that those who serve should do so without expecting these rewards,” Lim said.
Asked if any Barisan Nasional party members were among the list, Lim said there “might be one or two, based on their contributions to society”.
On the nomination of Abdul Hamid, Lim said:
“As the state's first Chief Justice, Abdul Hamid has served with excellence and strived to uphold the autonomy of the judiciary while carrying out necessary changes in order to fulfil the principles of justice and the rule of law.”
Describing Wan Azizah as a “lady of substance filled with humility and dignity,” Lim said her tireless fight for justice was a source of faith and courage to countless Malaysians.
“Wan Azizah's indomitable courage under extreme pressure when her husband, former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was imprisoned showed the meaning of women's power.
“She is of equal standing with her husband, solely on her own abilities, merits and achievements,” he said.