Honour them while they’re alive

  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 21 Jan 2020

THE country has lost another hockey legend. Michael Yan Wai Pin, who suffered a stroke in 2017, died on Saturday, aged 74. He leaves behind his wife, Foong Seow Ken, and three sons.

Michael was from Negri Sembilan. The state, in fact, has produced a number of hockey legends over the years who featured in the Asian and Olympics Games and in the World Cup.

However, they are unsung heroes without even a deserving Datukship or any form of perks for unselfishly bringing fame and honour to state and country.

In the last few years we lost Olympians M. Joseph (double

international football and hockey), Peter Van Huizen (hockey goalkeeper) and Lawrence Van Huizen (who not only played hockey but was also the women’s hockey coach).

Michael played for the country at the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok and captained the National B Team at the 1973 Seap Games in Singapore where it won silver; in 1975, he toured with the national team in Australia, India and New Zealand and was unlucky in not making it into the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur where Malaysia finished fourth.

Michael also earned honours for Negri Sembilan when he captained the team in 1974 and won the Tun Hussein Onn Cup; in 1975 and 1977 the team won the Tun Razak Cup. He retired in 1977.

The Negri Sembilan Sports Council and the Youth and Sports Ministry should probably review their awards system to ensure deserving athletes, coaches and officials are properly rewarded based on merit. We don’t want to see posthumous awards being given out.



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