by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Friday, 26th March 1993:
DAP calls for the scrapping of the honorific salutation of ‘Yang Berhormat’ for MPs and its replacement by ‘Yang Berkhidmat’
DAP supports and calls for the scrapping of the, honorific salutation of ‘Yang Berhormat’ for Members of Parliament end its replacement by ‘Yang Berkhidmat’.
Whether MPs are honourable or not cannot be established by the honorific salutation of ‘Yang Berhormat’. In any event, what MPs should distinguish themselves should be their service to country and people, and this is why the honorific salutation of ‘Yang Berhormat’ for MPs should be replaced by ‘Yang Berkhidmat’.
I am surprised at the strong objection by the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club to the proposal to drop the honorific salutation of ‘Yang Berhormat’ for MPs, to the extent that Cabinet who had earlier expressed support for doing away with adulation to people with higher rank seem to have modified their stand.
The Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, now says that the decision whether to use the title, ‘Yang Berhormat’ to address politicians should be left to the people to decide individually.
I have been an MIP for 24 years and I had always discouraged anyone from using the title ‘Yang Berhormat’.
However, it is well-known that Barisan Nasional MPs take strong offense when the rakyat do not refer to them as ‘Yang Berhormat’ and many of them show immediate displeasure with a very sour face.
The Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club has given as reason for its objection to the scrapping of the term ‘Yang Berhormat’ the need to amend Parliamentary Standing Orders as well as the Malaysian Constitution.
This is a very weak excuse and in any event, I am not aware that there is any necessity for the Malaysian Constitution to be amended just to scrap the honorific salutation of ‘Yang Berhormat’ for MPs.