KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran politician Lim Kit Siang has been conferred the 'Tan Sri' title, awarded to him in conjunction with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah's 64th birthday celebrations at the Istana Negara here today.
The honour comes months after Lim retired from active politics.
Based on DAP's principles, members are not allowed to accept any awards which carry formal titles while still active in politics.
The Tan Sri title, which comes with the Panglima Mangku Negara (PMN) and Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) awards, is the second-highest title after 'Tun'.
Lim, 82, was born in Batu Pahat (Johor) and went on to serve as member of Parliament in seven constituencies from 1969 to 2022.
However, he isn't the first former DAP member to receive the Tan Sri title. Activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who left DAP and later Gerakan, received his award in 2002 after leaving politics.
The conferment of titles to DAP members had led to controversy in the past.
In 2018, Melaka DAP elected representatives, Bandar Hilir assemblyman Tey Kok Kiew and Bemban assemblyman Wong Fort Pin, were conferred Datukship awards in conjunction with the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka Tun Dr Mohd Khalil Yaakob's 80th birthday.
This led to a rebuke by then-DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Wong obliged and offered to return the award while Tey did not.
Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham was also conferred a Datukship in 2008 while former Selangor state assembly speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim received his honour in 2010.
They went on to keep their titles.