Govt to come down hard on fake datuks, says Wan Junaidi

PETALING JAYA: The government will not hesitate to take action against those who abuse fake and unrecognised titles and awards in organising activities and events, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) said that such offences could be charged under the Offences Relating to Awards Act (Act 787) and punishable with a fine of 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 cases involving 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 all parties who are still abusing 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 at the dinner launching the Council of Dato and Datuk Malaysia (MDDM) on Wednesday (July 27) evening.

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 exco members.

Wan Junaidi noted that members of the public and media continue to express concern about the existence of unrecognised and fake Datuks, including cases of fake Tan Sri titles.

“I hope that the enforcement authorities, especially the police, will be stricter and more comprehensive in ensuring that Act 787 is fully enforced nationwide.

“I also hope that the media and public also play a role in exposing cases of abuse as mentioned earlier.”

Rigorous enforcement, he said, is 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 added.

Wan Junaidi also congratulated all MDDM founding members for taking the initiative to set up and register the council.

He also said he was happy with MDDM’s strict screening process to ensure all membership applications were from legit recipients.

“The establishment of MDDM is very well in line with the government’s active effort in enforcing Act 787 to curb the abuse of unrecognised and fake titles and awards.

“I hope MDDM will be the main organisation and platform to register all recognised Datuks in the country,” he said.