GEORGE TOWN: The nation has lost one of its sporting greats in the form of the affable Datuk Eddy Choong, who has passed away at 82.
Way before the nation's adoration for current superstar Datuk Lee Chong Wei began, Choong was Malaysia's golden boy as he dominated the badminton world from the 1950s to 1960s. He retired with the distinction of winning four All-England singles titles.
Choong died at a private hospital at 2.30pm here yesterday. He was hospitalised two days earlier due to a bout of vomiting.
Datuk Finn Choong, 53, said his father's death came as a shock since Choong was his normal self until he began vomiting on Saturday.
“He was supposed to be discharged today. Yesterday morning, he swallowed his vomit. As a result, his blood pressure began to rise and his heart stopped, causing complications. Efforts to resuscitate him failed,” said Finn at the family home in Bell Road.
The cause of death was intestinal bleeding.
Datin Maggie Choong, 79, said her late husband's passion was badminton.
Choong leaves behind his wife Maggie, sons Finn, Lionel, 51, Jorgen, 46, Antonio, 37, and five grandchildren.
Choong named his sons after European badminton players.
His body will be cremated at the Batu Gantung crematorium on Friday at 2pm.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng led the list of personalities here, who expressed their condolences to the family over the loss of one of the state's most endearing sons.
“He was one of Penang's favourite sons who brought honour to both the state and country. He showed how discipline and determination can produce an outstanding champion.”
Penang Badminton Association president Dr Koay Ban Hing said Choong was “never far from the sport”.
“He helped us acquire the badminton training centre in Bukit Dumbar to produce more quality players,” said Koay.
Penang MCA adviser Datuk Koay Kar Huah said Choong was “a kind-hearted, friendly and jovial” person who never stopped contributing to sports.
Choong was inducted into the Badminton Hall of Fame in 1997.
He had also served as Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Penang chairman and was often seen gracing many social functions here.
Badminton icon Eddy Choong was a great inventor of shots