His Highness' award shows off grace, granduer, dignity, integrity and magnificence of the Selangor royal household that surpasses ideology, race, politics and religion.
----- Taken from the Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the Sultan of Selangor, has made an implicit endorsement of the recent appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting general manager of the state economic development corporation (PKNS), by awarding her a Datukship.
Low, whose appointment on Nov 1 sparked controversy following protests from politicians and other groups who argued a Malay should have been given the post, was one of just 20 people awarded Datukships on the occasion of the Sultan's birthday today.
By awarding her the Datukship, the controversy is likely to be put to rest as few groups would like to be seen to be challenging the appointment of someone who has just been awarded a state title.
Low, a 35-year veteran in PKNS, was awarded the Datuk Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (DSIS) (Second Class) award.
She had been appointed to the post of acting general manager on a one-year contract by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who said a suitable Bumiputera replacement would be selected eventually to be her understudy.
It is understood that Low's appointment is part of efforts by the Pakatan Rakyat state government to revamp operations at the state agency, which is facing huge losses.
But Low's appointment as acting PKNS general manager drew objections from various quarters, including six PKNS unions, which claimed that it did not fulfil the aspirations of the establishment of PKNS which was to upgrade the socio-economic status of Bumiputeras.
Khalid remained adamant that Low would be the PKNS acting general manager until November 2009.
He argued the appointment of one non-Malay would not erode the rights of the Malays.
The controversy came as the volume of debate grew over race relations issues.
It also came amid the backdrop of unhappiness among some Malay nationalist groups who felt non-Malay communities were beginning to challenge and question Malay rights.
But the Selangor Sultan and some of the other Malay Rulers have made concerted efforts recently to step in and diffuse any racial rows.
In recent interviews, the Sultan has assured both the Malays and non-Malays that their rights were protected.
He has also refused to take the bait of appearing to supporting any group or political party. The Sultan has expressed unhappiness with politicians for exploiting race.