PETALING JAYA: The father of Malaysia’s most famous badminton-playing family, Datuk Sidek Abdullah Kamar, passed away yesterday after a long battle against illness.
The 69-year-old Sidek, who had been in a coma for the last 20 days at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, passed away at 2.30am. He was laid to rest at the burial site in their hometown, Banting, at 10am.
He left behind wife Bangaton Rasman, six sons (Misbun, Razif, Jalani, Rahman, Rashid and Mohd Shahrezan), two daughters (Rozhita and Zamaliah) and 19 grandchildren.
All his children except for Mohd Sharezan and Rozhita had donned national colours.
It was his sons who played the biggest roles to take Malaysia out of the doldrums in world badminton, culminating in the success to regain the Thomas Cup after a lapse of 25 years in 1992.
His eldest son, Misbun, said that his father’s condition deteriorated more than two weeks ago.
“He was a diabetic patient and had heart problem. His kidneys had failed him and he also had high blood pressure and liver problems,” said Misbun.
“He had been in the hospital for the last two months and was unconscious for the last 20 days.
“I received a text message from Hafiz (Hashim) from Holland after he won the Dutch Open title at about 11pm. It was good news. Three hours later, I was there by my father’s side. There were complications ...”
Sidek laid the groundwork for his son's rise to stardom in Malaysian badminton. Led by Misbun, the Sidek brothers began their domination of the game from the early eighties.
Misbun did not win any major title but with his charisma, he led Malaysia back onto the world stage.
Razif and Jalani won the 1982 All-England men's doubles title and became the first Malaysian medallists at an Olympics – a bronze in Barcelona in 1992.
Rashid also won a medal in the Olympics – the men's singles bronze in Atlanta in 1996.
And four of the brothers were in the 1992 Thomas Cup-winning team. Rashid played at first singles; Razif-Jalani at first doubles and Rahman was the reserve.
Zamaliah was a member of the team that won the silver medal in the mixed team event of the 1994 Comonwealth Games in Victoria.
Misbun said that his father’s absence would be felt greatly.
“To me, he was the father of Malaysian badminton. Badminton was in his blood. He was the pillar of strength to all of us,” said Misbun.
“No word can describe his immense contributions to badminton in the country. He made winners out of us. His teachings were invaluable and we will always cherish them.
“He was always there – with his insightful advises. He even provided us with advice for our coaching careers.”
Misbun is currently a coach for the singles players in the national senior team while Rashid is the chief coach of the Project 2010-12 side.
Jalani and Rahman are also into coaching with the professional club side, Nusa Mahsuri. Razif has had a stint as chief coach of the national team between 1994 and 1996.
Sidek is no more but his legacy will live on for a long time.
HIGHLIGHTS OF HIS CHILDREN’S ACHIEVEMENTS
MISBUNNational champion (1980-1984 and 1986-1987);National Sportsman award (1981-1982);World Cup runner-up (1982); All-England runner-up (1986).
RAZIF-JALANIAll-England champion (1982);All-England runners-up (1986, 1988);World Grand Prix Finals champions (1989);Commonwealth Games (1990);World Cup champions (1990, 1991);Thomas Cup champions (1992);Barcelona Olympics bronze medal (1992).
RASHIDCommonwealth Games champion (1990, 1994);Thomas Cup champions (1992);Atlanta Olympics bronze medal (1996);All-England runner-up (1996);National Sportsman Award (1990, 1994).
RAHMANMember of the Thomas Cup winning team (1992).
ZAMALIAHMember of Commonwealth Games silver-medal winning team (1994).
The father of a great badminton familyPLACE OF BIRTH: Banting, Selangor
OCCUPATION: Palm oil trader and farmer
WIVES: Rukinah Sulaiman (first wife, passed away in 2003); Juriah Abdul Wahab (second wife, divorced); and Bangaton Rasman.
CHILDREN: Rozhita, Misbun, Razif, Jalani, Rahman, Rashid, Jamaliah, Mohd Shahrezan.
AS A PLAYER
1957: Started playing competitively at the age of 21
1958-1964: Kuala Langat champion (singles and doubles with Sukarman Abdul Rahim)
1960: Malay junior champion
1964: Novice Cup champion
AS A COACH
1965-2005: Trained his children at a self-built two-court badminton hall at his home in Banting; groomed youngsters at his Kanchong Darat Centre (a two-court badminton hall).
1990: Benson and Hedges Gold Award for Sports Personality
2003: Malaysia’s all-time sports personality award from Sports Ministry
2003: Presented with honorary doctorate in Sports Science by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
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