Sunday, September 25, 2022

Should Pandelela Rinong be awarded a Datukship?

Secara Rawak

There is a demand from the public that Pandelela Rinong should be awarded an honarary title after she won her second medal at the Olympics. Is this demand valid, appropriate, reasonable, logical, and timely?

There is no question that a lot of Malaysians have honorary titles to their names, and many of  these people have two or more.

There was an article in the newspaper several years ago about the number of  honorary title recipients in the country. If I am not mistaken, the article mentioned about the high probability of a stone that has been thrown into the air to fall on the heads of someone with an honorary title

As we understand it, honoray titles should be given to those who have contributed tremendous and distinguished services to the country that without his or her contributions things may not be the way there are.

Traditionally, honorary titles are associated with bravery and gallantry in combats to defend the sovereignty of a nation.

It has now been expanded to cover all fields, including sports and entertainment industries.

A precedent was created in sports when Lee Chong Wei was awarded a Datukship by his home state of Penang after he won a silver medal in badminton at the Beijing Olympics. He also has won another silver medal in the same sports at the London Olympics. On top of  this, Chong Wei is also the world’s top badminton player for many years.

Another prominent Malaysian sportsperson that has received the same accolade as Chong Wei is Datuk Nicol David.

Nicol David has never won a medal at the Olympics mainly because squash is yet to be accepted as Olympics sports. But like Chong Wei, Nicol is the top player in the world in her sports. She was the world’s number 1 squash player for 8 consecutive years.

Pandelela has achieved a lot in the sports she loves so much. But, up to today, she has not reached the pinnacle of her sports.

There is a possibility that she might win the womens’10m platform in a few days time, but as of now, is she qualified to be awarded the honorary title. Is it enough just to have a silver and a bronze medal at the Olympics?

If Pandelela is to be given this title, should not Cheong Jun Hoong be given too. Pandelela could not have won the silver medal without the equally important and significant contributions from Jun Hoong, her partner in the event. One could not have won synchronised 10m platform if the other person did not perform his or her task adequately.

How do we evaluate, assesss, and rate the recipients of honarary titles? Should someone as young as Pandelela be awarded this accolade?

But then, how about the young guys in the other fields that have been awarded the honorary titles. There are many politicians, businessmen, and professional people that have been given this award at a relatively young age. Do all of them deserve the awards?

If these people can get theirs at a relatively young age, why is not possible for Pandelela to get hers now.

The most important thing here is the ability to carry the title. The person must be loyal to the country. This includes upholding the laws and the constitution of the country.

The recipient must be someone of excellent character. They must be able to conduct themselves in all places and in all situations in the maner that befits the title.

Pandelela can be given this title later, but then we tend to forget our heroes after they are no longer capable of bringing further glory to the nation. The predicaments faced by Kanang Anak Langkau should remind us all of the need to reward our heroes timely and accordingly. –

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