The following titles can be granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. They are honorary and non-hereditary. The limits on number of holders excludes honorary awards to foreign citizens.
Tun is the highest non-royal title and is limited to 50 holders at any one time. The wife of a Tun is Toh Puan. The latest recipient is former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
Tan Sri is the second highest title and is limited to about 300 holders at any one time. The wife of a Tan Sri is Puan Sri.
Datuk titles are conferred by the federal government since 1965 and limited to about 400 holders. The wife of Datuk is Datin.
The following titles can be granted by the Ruler or Governor of each state. They are honorary and non-hereditary.
Dato' Seri Utama is the highest state title, below Tun but above Tan Sri. The wife of a recipent is "Datin Seri Utama" .
Dato' Seri or Dato' Paduka ranks below the federal titles above. The wife of a Dato' Seri is a Datin Seri.
Dato' (also Datuk) is the most common chivalrous title. The wife of a Dato' is a Datin, except in Terengganu where they are known as "To' Puan".
There are also hereditary Datukships from Negeri Sembilan. These are not conferred by the ruler, but passed on through the customary native laws. The wife of a hereditary Dato' is addressed by courtesy as "To' Puan".
The following are both used as styles, before a person's title, and (by themselves) as forms of address:
Tuan Yang Terutama (T.Y.T.) is the style of a state Governor, equivalent to "Your/His Excellency".
Yang Amat Berhormat (Y.A.B.) is the style of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tuns who are also Members of Parliament and the Chief Ministers of the states.
Yang Berhormat (Y.B.) is the style of Members of Parliament and state Legislative Assemblymen. A prince who is a Member of Parliament is "Yang Berhormat Mulia" eg Yang Berhormat Mulia Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah, the MP for Gua Musang. "Yang Berhormat" is also used for recipients of the First Class Order of the Crown of Johor (S.P.M.J.) regardless whether he is a Member of Parliament or not.
Yang Amat Arif (Y.A.A.) is the style of the Chief Justice of Malaysia.
Yang Arif (Y.A.) is the style of a judge.
Yang Berbahagia (Y.Bhg.) (and variants thereof) are the styles of persons with a chivalrous title. The English versions of these styles follow British usage. Thus the Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers, Senators, state Executive Councillors and judges of the High Court and above are styled the Honourable. It is a solecism to style the Prime Minister or a Chief Minister Right Honourable as they are not members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.
Syed is the title of men who can trace direct blood descent from the Prophet. Female descendants are known as Syarifah. However, Syed has also been used as a name by some parents and no longer is indicative of any such heritage.
Meor is the title given to the son whose mother a Syarifah married a non-syed. Mainly practise in the state of Perak. No title given to female descendents.
Wan used by both male and female descendants.
Nik used by both male and female descendants. Mainly practise in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu.
Haji (or Hajjah) can be used by people who have completed the Hajj.
Tuan is equivalent to Master. Due to its feudal overtones, this term is largely obsolete, although the title can still be prepended to Syed and Haji. It is also used for non-titled Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen.
Encik is equivalent to Mr.
Puan is equivalent to Mrs.
Cik is equivalent to Miss.