Publication : MM
Date : 25/03/2005
Headline : The dying breed
TEACHERS of late have been blamed for not having the same commitment as
their past colleagues when it comes to the development of sports in
There are various reasons from lack of rewards, rising number of women
teachers, schools which are not interested in sports, the changing
lifestyle of the society where education takes precedence to teachers who
prefer to earn extra money through tuition and the diminishing number of
The politics played by teachers to get into positions at the State or
National Level Sports Councils, the backbiting and undermining of efforts
of fellow teachers and jealousy are also discouraging other teachers.
Parents also play a part when they get personal and use their influence
for their children sake.
In the past, there have been cases of teachers being transferred because
of complaints from parents, or even fellow teachers, who have clout or
"connections" at the right places.
Some of these teachers have given up sports in their new schools, while
some continued with their work to produce athletes every year.
How can there be sports development when there are so much problems at
In all fairness to teachers, who have done their share in development,
this column attempts to credit teachers who have been the pillars of
Malaysian sports foundation.
It is impossible to credit every one because there are always the
teachers who do all the hard work but shy from publicity, or are working
in their own on some remote place in Malaysia, while some are never
recognised because others take their glory.
Dr Harjit Singh, the Johor Cricket Council (JCC) president for the past
19 years, is a dedicated worker who is an all action and hands-on man.
He has seen the many phases of Malaysian sports and testified teachers
of the old school are a dying breed.
"We had teachers who were not only dedicated but would spend their own
money to promote sports in their schools and State," said Harjit.
"But times have changed, economically and socially, and we cannot blame
teachers who prefer to look after themselves financially first."
Many names mentioned here might not ring a bell to the new generation of
teachers and students but they need to be acknowledged for being
responsible for the past glories.
Among those who made their marks in the 60s, 70s and 80s include Gerald
Rozells, Bernard Khoo, Philip Adolphus, Kirubakaran Rokk, David Fernandez,
Ahmad Shafie (soccer), Lionel Rajamoney, Michael Perry, C. Ramanathan, T.
Krishnan, Rennie Martin, A. Tripadi, S. Sivapragasam, Tan Choo Mong, T.
Thiruselvam, Marina Chin, N. Nadarajah (athletics), Brian Foennader, Louis
Rodriques, Vincent Fernandez, S. Sivapathsundram, Malek Khiew, Teng Cheng
Leong, Pritam Singh Sandhu, Gurdial Singh (hockey), B. Rajakulasingham,
Indran, B. Sathiasivam, R. Ratnasingam, Jimi Chai (cricket), Aladad Khan
(multiple sports), late Mui Fatt Chai, Goh Yea Yen (badminton), Wong Tong
Poh (swimming), the late Ung Ket Chow (rugby) and the list goes on.
Many of these teachers are still actively involved in coaching despite
being retired. These are the dying breed of teachers.
The present times have their fair share of dedicated teachers.
Among them are K. Sukumaran, P. Gansesmoorthy, C. Nadarajan, Ustaz Md
Yazid Yahaya, Sidan Harun, Mat Jusoh Saat, Khairul Annuar Khairuddin
(soccer), S. Arunandy, Khoo Boon Keat, A. Vellurajan, K. Segeran Nair, Tan
Eng Hui, R. Magendran, Pritam Kaur, (athletics), S. Sasitheran, R.
Vivekananda, N. Ghananathan, K. Sunderasan, Tejar Singh, Yap Gark Soo,
Mokhtar Baharuddin, Durai Raj (hockey), K. Kamarajan (cricket), Mazlan
Ahmad (swimming), Guana Seagarn Sammuel, Yasmin Othman, Nahar Desa,
Madeline Parril, Khairul Mohtar, Anita Abdullah, Doris Selvi Thomas,
Mathialagan, Abdul Rahman Besar (bowling) to name a few.
There is still hope for schools to become the permanent foundation of
Malaysian sports but it needs to be made worthwhile for teachers to be