KUALA LUMPUR: Young people should not be hard up for titles, but instead prove that they deserve such recognition through their contributions to state or nation.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that while it was the prerogative of the royalty and federal and state governments to award such titles, the young should remember that the recognition has to be earned.
“You have to do something before you can be acknowledged. Even at 40, I don’t feel that I have achieved anything, what more somebody younger,” said Khairy.
“We should prove ourselves first,” he told reporters after a dialogue with youth entrepreneurs at the TN50 Bumiputera Bertaraf Dunia (World-Class Bumiputra) programme yesterday.
He noted that even 29-year-old Azizulhasni Awang, who bagged keirin gold at the Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong last week, did not seek his help in getting a title.
“He didn’t ask me for help. I think that is right,” Khairy said, adding that there should be some control over the awarding of titles to young people.
Khairy said Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nicol David were bestowed titles after achieving super stardom in their respective sports.
The minister was asked to comment on the public attention drawn by 21-year-old Datuk Muhammad Saiful Muhamad Ali and his posts on social media depicting a life of luxury and wealth.
He had posted on Instagram that he received the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang award, which carries the title of Datuk, in 2015.
According to his Facebook page, he is the director of a number of businesses, including scrap metal, convenience stores, a car wash and a recording studio.