The government will take strict action against those who abuse fake and unrecognised titles and awards in organising activities and events, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
According to Sinar Harian, Wan Junaidi said that those who were found committing such offences will 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,” he said at the dinner launching the Council of Dato and Datuk Malaysia (MDDM) on Wednesday (27 July).
Wan Junaidi then warned those who are still abusing fake titles to carry out such activities and said the government, as well as the enforcement will not hesitate to take action according to the existing laws, especially Act 787.
Meanwhile, he said he hoped 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,” he said.
He added that this move is necessary 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.
Meanwhile, he also congratulated all MDDM members for taking the initiative to establish and register the council, and made sure strict screening processes were conducted to filter the legitimacy of its 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.