M Kayveas, who heads the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), a constituent of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), is among the ethnic Indians who are recipients of Malaysian honours.
Already a Datuk (a title conferred by the government), he received the Seri Mahakota Wilayah (SMW) award that would carry the title of Datuk Seri.
Makkal Sakti Party (MSP) president Thanenthiran Ramankutty was another awardee. MSP has support among Malaysia’s over 1.5 million Tamils.
Sothinathan Asaipillai, federal territories education bureau secretary of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), the country’s largest Indian-based party and a key BN constituent, was conferred Datuk title Wednesday.
Among officials to be honoured were prime minister's special officer Ravindren Chelliah and Economic Planning Unit deputy director-general Himmat Singh.
Outside of the government, outstanding ethnic Indians honoured were former national football player Santokh Singh and Prince Court Hospital specialist Kuljit Singh, New Straits Times reported.
Malaysia has 100,000 Sikhs.
Instead of Santokh Singh, The Star inadvertently named national football coach K. Rajagopal, another ethnic Indian as among those conferred the Datukship title.
Rajagopalan coached the Malaysian team that participated in several international games including the Commonwealth Games, New Delhi and Asian Games, Guangzhou last year.
"We sincerely apologise to him for any embarrassment caused," The Star said.