Ex-long jumper leaps into resort business


KUALA TERENGGANU: Athletics is in his blood and winning gold medals in his pet event at the South-East Asia Peninsula (SEAP) Games came with regular ease. 

Former Olympian Kamaruddin Maidin made regular international appearances in the 60s and early 70s. He was also a “star attraction” in sports pages of local dailies then. 

“That was decades ago when Malaysia ruled supreme in the SEAP Games men’s long jump event,” the 63-year-old former national long jumper said in an interview.  

Kamaruddin represented the country in the Rome Olympics in 1960 and won gold medals in the SEAP Games (now the SEA Games) men’s long jump competition in Bangkok (1959), Yangon (1961), Kuala Lumpur (1965) and Bangkok (1971). 

He also won the men’s triple-jump gold and silver in the Games’ 1965 and 1971 editions respectively. 

But not many people know that the former sportsman is now involved in the hospitality industry. 

“Not long after retiring from competitions in 1971, I returned to Terengganu to carry out some contract work in Kemaman. 

“That was the time I thought about venturing into the hospitality industry as there were no motels, chalets or rest houses along the beach between Kemaman and Kuala Terengganu,” said Kamaruddin. 

In 1986, Kamaruddin opened a stall at the Batu Burok beach and called it “Warung Pak Maidin”.  

After acquiring from his siblings the plots of land near the stall, Kamaruddin began to build chalets at the site in 1990. 

With a loan from Bank Pembangunan, the chalets grew into the 60-room Batu Burok Beach Resort which began operations in 2000. 

Not many people know that Kamaruddin’s wife, Rajemah Sheikh Ahmad, is a former national hurdler. The Kuala Lumpur born represented the country in the women’s 80m hurdles in the 1965 (Kuala Lumpur) and 1967 (Bangkok) SEAP Games. 

In the Bangkok Asian Games (1966), Rajemah was part of the quartet that broke the national mark in the women’s 4x100m relay enroute to winning the bronze medal. 

The couple have eight sons. 

“Athletics is still fresh in my mind and blood,” said Kamaruddin, who is guiding several Terengganu athletes for this year’s Sukma in Kedah. – Bernama 

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