Bumi-owned firm fulfils table-tennis prodigy’s dream

Helping hand: Muhammad Fikri (centre)receiving a token of appreciation from Siau after he handed over RM3,000 to Wei Yeow (left).

MELAKA: A table-tennis child prodigy’s dream of taking part in an international tournament is being fulfilled by a bumiputra housing developer.

Koh Wei Yeow, 10, has created ripples with his phenomenal achievements in the game since 2018, and needs funds to represent the nation in the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) Asia Hopes Week and Challenge Championship, scheduled to be held in Thailand next month.

His school SJK (C) Pay Teck here issued an appeal letter on Jan 18 in hopes of getting a sponsor to fund Wei Yeow to take part in the tournament.

The Year Four pupil’s father, Koh Hon Thong, said he approached 10 companies to try and get a sponsor for his second son, with the letter from the school.

“I have limited financial resources and the only way is to get someone to sponsor my son’s overseas trip and to buy the necessary sports equipment,” the 50-year-old said.

Earlier, businessman Muhammad Fikri Mohd Ali handed over a token of RM3,000 to Wei Yeow at the school, witnessed by SJK (C) Pay Teck senior teacher Siau Xiao Tong.

Hon Thong said his son, armed with sheer passion and love for the game, has consistently achieved top spots in various championships within the country and abroad.

“My son is one of the best table-tennis players in South-East Asia and is endorsed by ITTF.

“However, I found it hard to convince sponsors to help my son despite him getting such laurels,” he said.

Hon Thong said both he and his 44-year-old wife Wai Siew Chuan wanted to ensure their son breaks into the top three in the upcoming championship.

“The sponsorship today is very meaningful for my son’s journey to be an ace in the game,” he added.

Muhammad Fikri said he received the appeal letter from the school through a friend and decided to help.

He said he allocated part of his company’s fund that was set aside for its Hari Raya corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to assist Wei Yeow.

“I grew up in Melaka and extending help to any Malaysian is our culture,” Muhammad Fikri said.

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