Editorial-Good to see credit go to the deserving

First, SERI Chairman Chet Singh Karam Singh was awarded the Darjah Gemilang Pang-kuan Negeri (DGPN). This took place on Julyio at Penang Governor Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas's 72nd birthday celebrations. The honour carries the title of "Datuk Seri".

Datuk Seri Chet Singh was profiled in the July issue in the article. "The man who industrialised Penang".

As founding general manager of the Penang Development Corporation (Pod Datuk Seri Chet was responsible for the highly successful implementation of the free trade zone that now drives the state's economy. This card-carrying member of Parti Gerakan Rakyat retired from the PDC in 1991. Earlier this year, however, he was appointed special advisor to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in the latter's attempt to reinvigorate the corporation.

Second, Dr Goh Ban Lee, senior research fellow at SERI, was awarded the Darjah Yang Mulia Pangkuan Negeri (DMPN). This means his numerous friends will now have to address him as"Datuk Dr Goh".

Datuk Dr Goh - a member of the Malaysian Chinese Association - is nationally famous for his column in The Sun, He is also a member of PEM's stable of greatly appreciated columnists. (See his article on Curitiba in this issue). His peers consider him one of Malaysia's foremost experts on local government and urban planning.

Both Datuk Seri Chet and Datuk Dr Goh rendered great service to Penang and Malaysia throughout their long career.

This granting of prestigious awards leads me to contemplate a wider issue.

The Football World Cup Final was played the same weekend Penang's governor celebrated his birthday. After a hard-fought battle, Spain won the Cup, for the first time ever. I remember following the European Football Championship very closely in 2008. Spain emerged as European champions, also for the first time ever.

It was always a mystery up till that point why Spain were never victorious in the biggest tournaments.

At the same time, we know that the magic will not always be there, and Spain will slide into mediocrity in the near future.

As individuals, we will do well to remember that not all things are within our ability to achieve. All we can do is our best. The rest is Fate.

Unlike the Spanish footballers, public servants like Datuk Seri Chet Singh and Datuk Dr Goh Ban Lee toil for a lifetime, and with no golden cup to entice them. They labour because it is their duty to labour.

A personal sense of integrity - if not public acknowledgement - resides in the persistent performance of public service. The reward is in the doing.

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