I was a secretary and getting the titles right is part of our job spec. We address the PM, CM, MB as Yang Amat Berhormat and the Ministers as Yang Berhormat. Yang Berbahgia for the regular Datuks and Yang Berbahgia is Yang Bhg and never YB.

Someone emailed to me :

CT Foo wrote:
I like the alternative you offered.
But why the “YAB”. Certainly this is for the old school of “puji-memuji” and
“bodeking”. In the egalitarian society that we hope to develop in our beloved
Malaysia, the more appropriate term would probably be the humble yet polite
“Saudara” or just plain “Encik/Cik/Tuan/Puan”

Well, CT, the post that you mentioned is a post that is going to be found by a lot of people. It is a post about the Chief Minister of Penang and it is politically correct and proper to use the title that our country has adopted. In other posts, I normally refer him as DAP Lim Guan Eng during the election campaign, and now, CM Lim Guan Eng or Sdr Liew Chin Tong for the MP in my area.

Frankly, I think it is appropriate to use the right title at the right time. We expect our children to call us mother and not by our name. These people are certainly not of the same level as us regular rakyats so a title like Encik is not appropriate. During official functions, one has to use the right ways to address the senior members of the function.

And in real life, it is not like I am going to talk to the CM. So seriously, I don’t need to actually say Yang Amat Berhormat at all. So, it is never an issue.

But what do my readers say? Do you think we can do away with all these bodek-ing titles like CT Foo suggest?