Guan Eng: Be like Ghafar Baba, no need for Datukship

PETALING JAYA: DAP leaders have been urged to emulate the late Ghafar Baba who only accepted the “Tunship” after retiring.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said there was no need for his colleagues in the party to accept federal or state awards that bestowed titles like “Datuk”.

“Show the rakyat that DAP is different from Barisan Nasional (BN). Place more importance on servicing the rakyat,” Lim was quoted by the Malay Mail as saying.

Ghafar was the deputy prime minister from 1986 to 1993, serving under Dr Mahathir Mohamad when the latter was prime minister for the first time.

The former Melaka chief minister reportedly accepted his “Tunship” in 1995 only after Mahathir spoke to him twice about the matter.

Lim, who is also the finance minister, said that the former Umno veteran preferred to be addressed as “Encik” even after he was made a “Tun”.

He also said that party leaders should prove their worth before accepting awards.

“The main duty now is to save the country and economy,” Malay Mail reported the Bagan MP as saying.

Lim added that the party’s central executive committee would be meeting to discuss members who accepted state awards.

Several DAP leaders were recently bestowed awards which carry the “Datuk” title, including Melaka DAP chairman Tey Kok Kiew, Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong and Sabah Youth and Sports minister Frankie Poon.