KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Council (NSC) said yesterday that the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) would find it hard to replace their late secretary, S. Satgunam, as he was an administrator of the highest order.
The NSC director general, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad, said that Satgunam had made the MHF a well-organised association and made sure that all their activities were carried out fully.
“Not many people can do what he had done all these years. He had a tremendous workload and yet he carried out the tasks successfully,” said Mazlan.
“He strived to make hockey a popular sport in the country and it was due to his hard work that the game had the support from all quarters.
“The MHF will find it hard to replace him and I hope they will try and carry on with his plans to make hockey a success. The NSC would like to extent our condolences to his family as they have lost a good man and father.”
The NSC director of International Preparations, Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, felt that Satgunam's demise was a great loss to Malaysian hockey.
“He was an excellent administrator of the hockey fraternity. It's hard to find people like Satgunam. He worked as the secretary on a voluntary basis and put in so much time to help the sport grow in the country,” he said.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi,said: “He was one of the very dedicated and devoted hockey officials. Unfortunately, he received more brickbats than credit for his work, which I think were unfair.
“He was from the old school of thought – very hardworking, passionate about his work. I do not think, he worked for money and we will never ever find a person like him, who worked for the love of the sport.”
The FA of Malaysia's (FAM) secretary, Datuk Dell Akbar Khan, said: “When I was in the police force, he used to come to see me for assistance for hockey tournaments held in Bukit Jalil.
“I found him to be a very pleasant person to work with. It is very sad to hear that he had passed away.”
The MHF assistant secretary, T. Paramalingam, who will take over as the acting secretary until the BGM in October, said that he had lost a dear friend, who had been a guiding light for him since he came into the MHF.
“He was always there to guide me when I needed it and was almost like a brother to me. I just cannot believe he is gone just as we are looking forward to the coming years with hope,” he said.
“I, or for that matter anyone else, cannot replace him. But he would want the show to go on.”
Negri Sembilan HA secretary Anthony Dass said: “He was a great worker and had good technical knowledge. He was always there for the officials and will go out of his way to guide them. He was an administrator who led by example.”
Former Singapore Hockey Federation president M. Lukshmayeh, said that the Malaysian hockey had lost a sound administrator.
“He kept the MHF in proper order. I know him as a good friend as well. He would be a difficult person to replace and I feel sorry for the MHF and his family,” he said.
The Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) secretary, Wong Ah Jit, said that Satgunam would always be remembered as a person dedicated to hockey.
“We usually meet Satgunam at sports seminars. The last time I met him was in a seminar in Seremban in July. He had dedicated so much to hockey and it is going to be difficult to find a person with such high level of experience and expertise to replace him,” said Ah Jit.
The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) secretary, K. Jothikumaran, said that Satgunam had always been someone special to Indian hockey.
“His efforts as an administrator greatly improved the relationship between Indian and Malaysian hockey,” said Jothi.
“The IHF would like to send our deepest condolences to Satgunam's family as well as MHF on his demise.”