Unlike titles that are conferred by state or federal leaders, some titles are inherited by members of the royal family, most notably terms like ‘Tengku’ and ‘Tunku’ (translated to prince or princess). What’s the difference between the two?
“They are actually the same; but ‘Tunku’ is written this way in the states of Kedah, Johore and Negeri Sembilan,” says Tunku Dara.
“In Pahang, Selangor, Kelantan and Terengganu, this term is spelled ‘Tengku’. However, in Perlis, it is ‘Syed’ and in Perak it is ‘Raja’.”
Given their similar pronunciations, the terms ‘Dato'’ and ‘Datuk’ are often mistakenly thought to be the same.
“’Datuk’ is a federal title as well as one conferred in Malacca, Penang, Sarawak and Sabah that have Governors. ‘Dato’s are conferred in states that have a ruler".