Title-obsessed Malaysians are again falling for offers of titles and awards from an unrecognised — and very likely fictitious — sultanate in Mindanao in the Philippines. Awards carrying titles of Datuk Seri, Datuk Paduka and Datuk, supposedly from Sultan Kudarat, are being offered to people willing to pay $$$
Not many may know that a nondescript office lot in Pandan Mewah, Kuala Lumpur, is the place to head to for those seeking “fame and fortune”.
Enter the office on the first floor of the building and the walls are adorned with framed photographs of a man with distinguished people, numerous newspaper cuttings and his doctorate.
Upon closer look, one cannot help but notice that in some photographs, the image of the person seems to have been superimposed on a picture of VIPs.
The university has campuses in several countries but, despite its name, none in the United States.
The man in the pictures is a “Datuk Seri” who deems himself as the go-between for those seeking Datukship from Sultan Kudarat, said to be a Mindanao sultanate but may in fact not exist.
Posing as “assistants” seeking information for a rich Sabah towkay who was interested in getting a Datukship, we managed to get a meeting with the Datuk Seri after several attempts.
The door of the office bears the name of a foundation which the Datuk Seri heads.
However, there was no sign indicating that the office had anything to do with Sultan Kudarat or any other royalty for that matter.
There were two rooms, one occupied by the Datuk Seri and another by a person claiming to be a graphic artist with the name Encik Zul. It was Encik Zul whom we spoke to to make an appointment with the Datuk Seri.
We were then led into his office. He was seated behind a desk with a laptop and greeted us when we entered the room.
He gave us his business card but did not ask for ours. In fact, he did not even ask for our names.
He then proceeded to give us details of the various awards which he could arrange for our towkay, together with the respective prices.
“It depends on how much contribution you can make to the Mindanao province,” he said.
He added that he was the events consultant for the Royal Mindanao Malaysian Friendship Society which he said was responsible for the conferment of titles. The society, which he said was registered in the Philippines, was 10 years old.
He then told us that the society has 2,000 members, all recipients of awards from the Mindanao sultanate.
The awards were all conferred by a Sultan Pax S. Mangudadatu, Al Haj. A huge portrait of the sultan hung from the wall in the room.
“The sultan is a genuine member of royalty. You only need to type his name in the Internet and you would be able to read up on his background.
“Our Malaysian Government has close ties with Sultan Pax,” he said.
The Datuk Seri stressed that the society was selective when conferring titles.
“The sultanate does not simply award Datukship to just anyone. We need to be sure you are who you are and that you do not have any criminal record. We are very selective.
“We do not want people to think that we are selling (Datukship) like at a pasar malam,” he said.
Interestingly, he cautioned us to be careful of syndicates selling fake Datukship.
“There are syndicates out there that claim they are bestowing titles on behalf of the Sultan of Sulu. We are not a syndicate. We just want to make a contribution to the people of Mindanao. The difference between them and us is that our sultan exists,” he said.
He said there were many descendants of the Sultan of Sulu who claimed to be the real sultan and that these descendants, unlike Sultan Pax, did not have their own palaces.
Interestingly, the Datuk Seri was quoted in a Malay daily last year warning that the syndicates would prepare documents to gain the trust of their intended victims.
When asked if the Datukship was recognised in Malaysia, he said it was not possible for Malaysia to recognise every country’s awards.
“Malaysia only recognises its own awards that is conferred by its Rulers. But our titles are genuine,” he said.
He also said Mindanao was on the verge of declaring independence from the Philippines.
The forms for the “purchase” were printed out by the clerk and passed to us during the meeting. We were told to fill out the forms as soon as possible.
The Datuk Seri said Sultan Pax would be conferring the awards during a ceremony at a five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur which would also be attended by the Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia.
AK : After flag burning in Sabah(which was not taken seriously by government) , another scam by ‘Suluk People’ to cheat Malaysians. ‘this is called double tax’ .Time to get rid of this imposters!