"Datukship" even thou it is still an important title, was not look high by most people. Let me bring out two cases that support this mentality among the malaysian. The first is the Nicol David and the second on is Dr Sheikh Muszaphar.
If one read the description of both personalities, which one in should be given such high recognition from the title qualification? Let me make clear who this two personality are.
Nicol Ann David (born August 26, 1983 in Penang, Malaysia) is a Malaysian professional squash player. She is currently the World No. 1 in women's squash (she is the first Asian woman to be ranked World No. 1 in the sport). She captured the World Open title in 2005 and 2006, and the British Open title in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
Sheikh Muszaphar and three other finalists were selected at the beginning of 2006 for the Malaysian Angkasawan spaceflight program. The program arose after Russia agreed to transport one Malaysian to the ISS as part of a multi-billion purchase of 18 Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter jets by Malaysia. After completing initial training at Star City in Russia, Sheikh Muszaphar and Faiz Khaleed were selected to undergo an 18-month training program in Russia, at the end of which Sheikh Muszaphar was chosen as the prime crew member, while Faiz Khaleed served as back-up. Following the final medical tests and training examinations, on September 17, it was announced that Sheikh Muzaphar would be flying on Soyuz 11.
Both Nicol and Sheikh Muszaphar will be conferred the title of Datukship. Nicole received the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN) award which carries the title Datuk from the state of Penang. Sheikh Muzaphar will be bestowed the Darjah Setia Negeri Sembilan (DSNS) award which carries the title "Datuk" by the Yang Di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Ja'afar.
Some may argue that both personalities had achieved something extraordinary from their work. It might be true but the difference was "Datukship" given to Nicol David was not expected by many. Sheik Muzaphar was long time predicted to get his goodies of present. Nicol who today a number one ranking squash player in the world for a period duration time has achieved an extraordinary feat that not everyone can do. In sports, lots of achievement was presented in the world level but little recognition was given by the people who should honor the credibility of the title itself. I don't want to speculate what really happen as many already knew it.
I feel a bit ashamed by the "Datukship" given to Sheikh Muzaphar as he didn't contribute anything to the country or doing any significant feat that different him to all the world or even to the malaysian. I feel like malaysian government sent a test monkey and sat him at the space rocket and blast him to the space to press some button that configured it easy as possible at zero gravity condition at the space. The worst thing is that he didn't spend any cent on his side. Now, we even gave him a title.
When the Russian open the space travel to the public, it was a huge buzz to people that has the resource and time to experience the journey of the life time. Malaysia having to run out of resource chooses to spent more money from tax payer money buying few jets from Russia, to get freebies that cost equal to a medical and educational incentive policy. To make it worse, they planned to have a second space trip and luckily was rejected.
Penang Government lead by Barisan Rakyat did walk the talk by giving the title to people who qualified and deserved to the title. Even thou this is not a significant event, it present us the changes that we long time awaited. At the moment, I don't really see any different make by Barisan Rakyat state government. It such a sad thing to read in news that some issue between the coalition still on discussion and unsolved.