KUALA LUMPUR: Two stunning unscripted moments on the Istana Negara on Saturday captured the spirit of a convivial interplay between the King and Queen and 4 badminton greats.
The primary freeze-frame second occurred when Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah pushed former doubles specialist Tan Yee Khan in a wheelchair.
Sporting an enormous smile, he energetically led Yee Khan into a photograph session with three different heroes of the victorious 1967 Thomas Cup crew.
“It is one thing I by no means dreamed of and one thing you always remember,” mentioned Yee Khan, who cannot stroll due to a diabetic foot ulcer.
One other pleasure got here when Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah gave fruit muffins she had baked to Yee Khan, Yew Cheng Hoe, Tan Aik Huang and Billy Ng.
“We have been touched by the Queen’s gesture of baking a particular fruit cake for every of us for Chinese language Lunar New 12 months,” Billy, 82, mentioned.
The royal couple invited the legends to a tea get together and a tour of the palace to honor them for his or her invaluable service to the sport in Malaysia.
Captain Teh Kew San, who would have turned 88 on January 26, was unable to attend on account of well being causes whereas Yee Khan’s accomplice Ng Boon Bee died in August on the age of 84.
Sultan Abdullah learn an article concerning the sacrifices made by the Thomas Cup ’67 crew, and the way the gamers endured hostile followers on the well-known Istora Senayan in Jakarta earlier than successful the title .
In one of many greatest badminton dramas, Malaysia controversially beat their rival Indonesia 6-3, two years after the top of the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1963-1965).
The Agong spoke to veteran sports activities journalists George Das, Lazarus Rokk, Fauzi Omar and Johnson Fernandez about this, and he feels that these gamers deserve extra recognition for his or her victory.
Das mentioned: “He requested us for his or her contacts and the following factor we knew, he was inviting the gamers to the palace for tea with the King and Queen.”
He mentioned he was additionally pleased to be invited for the occasion together with Rokk, Fauzi, Fernandez and former Bernama editor-in-chief Yong Soo Heong.
“It is an awesome royal gesture from our Majesty to entertain a few of our forgotten sports activities heroes.”
Sultan Abdullah mentioned: “It was a pleasure to satisfy legends that I didn’t know as a result of I used to be nonetheless in main faculty.
“Additionally, I am not acquainted with badminton as a result of I play soccer and hockey.
“However studying concerning the sacrifices the Thomas Cup ’67 squad made and the dangerous circumstances they went via earlier than successful the Thomas Cup, I’ve the best respect for them.
“I wish to thank them, together with the household of the late Boon Bee, for his or her extraordinary contribution to the nation throughout that point.”
Sultan Abdullah mentioned he was additionally pleased to satisfy Commonwealth Video games gold medalist Sylvia Ng, pioneer Uber Cupper Jean Moey, and James Selvaraj from the 1976 Thomas Cup runners-up squad.
“The nation owes a debt of gratitude to all of them, and different sportsmen and girls, and officers, who introduced honor to the nation,” he mentioned.
The badminton icons, who’re largely unknown to the youthful technology of Malaysians, have been clearly touched by the division of this sudden event.
Many tales emerge as the wonderful previous and the whimsical current elevate blended feelings on the palace assembly.
Cheng Hoe, 79, mentioned that Sultan Abdullah and his spouse are serious about understanding extra about every participant, their success in main tournaments, concerning the final days in Jakarta, the present badminton sport, and what they did of their previous age.
Aik Huang, 76, mentioned: “It’s our privilege to have the chance to drink tea with the Agong and Permaisuri Agong who’re very type and pleasant. I’ll cherish it for the remainder of my life.”
The royal couple’s outpouring of affection for badminton stars has given a brand new dimension to the therapy of the nation’s sporting heroes.
Exhibiting a excessive sense of nurturing, they reinforce the necessity to jealously guard recollections of necessary previous accomplishments.
It is a well timed reminder to the nation of what we as soon as have been.
Will the remainder of the sports activities fraternity take a cue from the King and Queen to awaken the depth of feeling in direction of those that introduced glory to the nation?