By WONG CHUN WAI
SHAH ALAM: No politician will be awarded a Datukship in conjunction with the Sultan of Selangor’s birthday on Dec 11.
This is because Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has put a freeze on awarding such titles to politicians this year.
“There will be no politicians – either from the past or present state government.
“The present state government is barely eight months old. Even a pregnancy is nine months,” the Sultan said in an interview at Istana Mestika here.
“I am sure there are deserving cases in the present state government but let us wait first. Let them focus on their work, not awards or rewards. Titles need not come with positions,” he said.
The Sultan said Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim understood the decision after his explanation on the need to limit the number of awards.
“There is no such thing as a quota for the MB or myself. We agree it should not be freely given to maintain its prestige,” he said.
He said he did not wish to talk about how certain states had given out the titles easily.
However, Sultan Sharafuddin said that if too many Datuk titles were given out, it would only “devalue the titles and the purpose of having these awards.”
He said the state limited the number of Datukships to 40 each year but added that he had never given more than 30 each time.
Except for the investiture ceremony on Dec 11 and the tea party with the people on the same day, the Sultan said that there would be no additional state functions.
“I have ordered the state administration to cut costs. There is no need for any unnecessary spending because of my birthday.
“This is a time to be prudent and not waste the rakyat’s money,” he said.
On the performance of the state’s elected representatives, Sultan Sharafuddin said he had instructed palace officials and even his brother to monitor their performance during the State Assembly sitting.
“I am not interfering in politics. I want to know precisely, not just from press reports, how they perform.
“Do they know what they are talking about and have they done their homework? Are they taking part or just sitting quietly to observe the proceedings with no contributions?
The Sultan said his decision was not aimed at any particular party.
“It does not matter if they are in the Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional.
“If they behave badly or ignore decorum, I will have a word with them because I expect high standards and correct behaviour because the rakyat is watching closely during the State Assembly.”