KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin has urged Pakatan Harapan leaders to focus on serving the people instead of acquiring Datukships.
In a blog post on Wednesday (Oct 17), Kadir also said the recent decision by five ministers to accept honorific titles from the Melaka state government was "not smart".
"It gives the impression that there is no difference between Pakatan Harapan ministers and Barisan Nasional bigwigs who were crazy over positions, titles and riches.
"Forgive me but many in the (Pakatan Harapan) parties are still unclear about the contributions that qualified them for such honorific titles," he said.
Kadir is media and communications adviser in the Prime Minister's Office and also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member.
Kadir, however, made it clear that his blog post was written in his personal capacity.
On Saturday (Oct 13), five Cabinet ministers received the Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (D.G.S.M), which carries the title ‘Datuk Seri’ in conjunction with the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka Tun Dr Mohd Khalil Yaakob’s 80th birthday.
They are Rural Development Minister Rina Mohd Harun; Health Minister Dr Dzulkeply Ahmad; Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof; Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail; and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religion) Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof.
Kadir said while some PH leaders made significant contributions as the opposition, the people were evaluating them based on their performance as Cabinet ministers.
"The people are disgusted. The debate on social media clearly shows that the majority of the people don't agree and feel nauseated by those who accepted the honorific titles."
Kadir also questioned whether the ministers were awarded the titles because of their position in the government or their contributions to the country.
“If they were awarded for their contributions, what significant contributions have they made since becoming ministers?" he asked.
He also took a swipe at Rina, who on Monday (Oct 15) said the recipients of such awards would encourage them to work harder for the people.
"Are the people's votes and mandate not enough to motivate her?"
Kadir said PH leaders in the government should strive to be better than their predecessors, adding that they should be aware of their new environment.
"We have to reorganise our priorities and political behaviour. Our every move is being watched by all quarters," he said, adding that he agreed with DAP's long-standing principle of not accepting honorific titles.
He also denied claims that DAP's principle was a sign of protest against the Malay rulers.
"To me, this is not an issue of protest but an issue of policy. By right, all PH parties must focus on serving the people and creating an egalitarian environment, not propagating the practices of feudalism, class and caste.