KOTA KINABALU: The authorities should take action against people in the state who use fake titles, says the Council of Sabah Datuks (MDNS).

Its president Datuk Claudius Roman said there were instances of individuals whose Datukships were questionable.

He added that there had been allegations that some people were abusing these titles for personal gains, such as promoting their businesses.

While the MDNS does not have proof of such behaviour, Roman hoped that the state government would take action against these fake “Datuks”, he said in a statement after paying a courtesy call on Sabah State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Datuk Safar Untong recently.

He said these culprits even displayed MDNS insignias on their car registration plates without authorisation from the council.

“These incidents are not new. Shops should also not simply make car insignias without proper authorisation by the organisation.

“There should be a law to fine these shops,” he added.

Roman said that in the past, shops wouldn’t dare make such car insignias or rubber stamps or Common Seals unless they had received authorisation letters from the organisation.

“Those who are conferred Datukships must also exercise a high level of integrity and honour their awards and not abuse their titles for whatever purposes,” he added.

Roman said Safar affirmed that the state government did not recognise these so-called awards from other countries, such as the Philippines.

He added that Safar said the authenticity of the award of Sabah Datukship could be checked with the Sabah government or the respective state where the awards were conferred from.

Roman said during the courtesy call, the council members told Safar that they were working to help the state government improve the standard of living of the hardcore poor, especially those in the interior of Sabah.

He added that among the programmes being planned by the council was to provide training in agriculture so that the poor could help improve their livelihood.