Report: Agong not conferring titles this year

NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V will not be conferring any titles in conjunction with his official birthday celebrations on Sept 9.

Malaysiakini, in a report, said this was confirmed by an officer with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

According to the portal, the King would only be reading out a speech, followed by a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“There will only be a speech by the Agong and a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” the website quoted a source as saying.

It is understood that this would mark the first time that the Agong would not be bestowing any titles in conjunction with his birthday.

The report also said that the list of recipients provided by the previous Barisan Nasional administration would be vetted again.

Traditionally, a selection committee chaired by the prime minister, assisted by the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Inspector-General of Police would vet a list of recipients and submit its recommendations.

The committee is responsible for evaluating and recommending the major award recipients, especially for awards which carry the titles Tun, Tan Sri and Datuk.

An Istana Negara source, when contacted, declined to comment and said only the Ceremonies and International Conventions Secretariat (Bahagian Istiadat dan Urusetia Persidangan Antarabangsa) of the Prime Minister’s Department can comment on the matter.

Last year, the King had conferred 1,518 awards on his birthday.

Former minister Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim had earlier commented on the matter.

In a tweet, Rais, who was the former socio-cultural adviser to the government, said he learnt that the King would not be bestowing any titles this year.

“Congratulations are in order if this is true. Don't let the practice of presenting tributes to the rulers continue, including at the state level...,” he wrote. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd