SEREMBAN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The ruler of Malaysia's western state of Negeri Sembilan has revoked the Datuk Seri Utama title conferred on disgraced former prime minister Najib Razak as well a similar title it gave to his wife Rosmah Mansor.
The decision was made to safeguard the honour and dignity of the Negeri Sembilan royal institution, a palace official said.
The palace revoked the Darjah Seri Utama Negeri Sembilan or S.P.N.S. award, which carries the title Datuk Seri Utama, it conferred on Najib in 2005, and the Darjah Seri Paduka Tuanku Ja'afar Yang Amat Terpuji (S.P.T.J.) title it awarded Rosmah in 2006.
Such titles are regularly awarded by the nine hereditary Malay royal houses who are titular heads in nine states, and also by the Malaysian King, to politicians to businessmen who are deemed to have performed noble services to the respective states, or to Malaysia.
State Registrar of Awards Razali Ab Malik said the decision was made on Friday (Oct 26) during a special meeting of the awards, titles and honours committee at the palace of state ruler Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir.
Despite Negeri Sembilan's move, Najib still holds Datuk Seri titles from other states, including Pahang, Melaka, Sabah, Sarawak, Penang, Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis.
Rosmah is understood to still hold Datuk Seri titles from Pahang, Melaka, Sabah, Sarawak, Kedah and Selangor.
Najib, who was toppled from power after losing general elections in May, now faces a total of 38 graft-related charges linked to state investment fund 1MDB, the latest of which were laid out in court on Thursday.
Rosmah has also been charged with money laundering and tax evasion.