Polar explorer and three others stripped of Datukship
JOHOR BARU: North Pole explorer Datin Paduka Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir, the Sultan’s brother-in-law Kommander Shaftdean Lufty Rusland and prominent lawyer Hassan Yunos have been stripped of the titles bestowed by the Johor Ruler. The three public figures were stripped of their titles on June 4, along with former MCA leader Datuk Chua Jui Meng.
Johor Council of Royal Court secretary Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli said the Sultan had conferred the titles of Dato’ Sri Paduka Mahkota Johor and Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Johor based on three main criteria – loyalty, meticulous service and diligence.
“I cannot say the reasons why they have been stripped of their titles as it is the Sultan’s prerogative,” Abdul Rahim told reporters here yesterday.
“However, these four must search their conscience and think for themselves what they have done wrong and not blame others.”
He added that the council had a system of monitoring those bestowed with Datukships from Johor as there were only 120 people still alive.
“After deliberating on reports against some Members of the Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Johor, the state Royal Council advised the Sultan to expel those involved and he has consented to the advice.”
Abdul Rahim said these titles were the most honourable order of the Crown of Johor and the recipients’ actions must not contradict as those of belonging to a man of honour.
He said the withdrawal of the titles was also in line with the Sultan’s right to exercise his power under Article 12 of the Statues and Ordinances of the Most Honourable Order and Article 7 (f) of the Second part of the Johor State Constitution 1895. Abdul Rahim said the titles of Datuk were the most prestigious as only 712 had been given out since its inception in 1886.
He also denied there had been political pressure involved in stripping Chua of his two Datuk titles.
“The Sultan was, is and will forever be above politics. There is no pressure from Umno or any political party,” he said, adding that Chua had informed him that he would be returning the medals and awards.
“However, I have given him time to do so as he told me he was outstation,” he said, adding that both Sharifah Mazlina and Hassan had since returned their medals. He also said Chua’s claim that he was the second Chinese to receive the titles was not true.
Abdul Rahim said this was the first time the council had issued a statement regarding the withdrawal of the titles because it did not want the public to question or even speculate on the matter.