PETALING JAYA: Action will be taken against those using fake or unrecognised titles and awards to organise activities and events, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said they could be charged under the Offences Relating to Awards Act (Act 787) and punishable with a fine up to RM500,000 and jail up to 20 years.
‘Some of these people believe that by using the titles, they will be able to convince and fool the public that they have a certain status and credibility among the community.
‘’What is more worrying is that these people misuse these titles for fraud and other crimes.
‘’There are still those who openly organise certain events, where they attend wearing the ‘Number 1 Dress’ or ‘Mess Kit’ complete with medals, sashes and unrecognised and fake titles.
‘’I would like to warn those still using fake titles and carrying out the activities I mentioned that the government and enforcement will not hesitate to take action according to the existing laws, especially Act 787,’’ he said during the launch of the Council of Dato and Datuk Malaysia (MDDM) yesterday.
Wan Junaidi’s speech was read out by Prime Minister’s Department Legal Affairs Division director-general Datuk Abd Shukor Mahmood.
Also present were MDDM president Datuk Awalan Abdul Aziz, secretary-general Datuk Samson Maman and other executive council members.
In his speech, Wan Junaidi said members of the public and media continued to express concern about the existence of unrecognised and fake Datuks, including cases of fake Tan Sri titles.
‘’I hope that enforcement authorities, especially the police, will be stricter and more comprehensive in ensuring that Act 787 is fully enforced nationwide.
‘’I hope that the media and public also play a role in exposing cases of abuse as mentioned earlier,” he added.
Rigorous enforcement, he said, was important to preserve the unique status and significance of the awards, titles and honours conferred by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Sultans and state governors.
‘’This is actually the essence and main objective of Act 787,’’ he said.
Wan Junaidi also congratulated all MDDM founding members for taking the initiative to set up and register the council, expressing his happiness with its strict screening process to ensure that all membership applications were from legitimate recipients.
‘’The setting up of MDDM is very well in line with the government’s effort in enforcing Act 787.
‘’I hope MDDM will be the main organisation and platform to register all recognised Datuks in the country,” he said.