Milo – tale of a brand that continues to make sweet aroma in Malaysian sport

AT home in Ipoh while I was young, my mum used to make roti canai for dinner.

She was good at it, and still is at 75.

Usually, we would eat it with curry but occasionally, my brother and I will spread a layer of Milo powder on it, roll it like a huge cigar and chomp on it.

The taste was heavenly and we could gobble down two to three at one go.

That’s one way I remember Milo.

The other way, of course, is like any other children who grew up in the 70s and 80s, through the ubiquitous Milo van.

It was parked at every school sports meets, National Schools (MSSM) meet, carnivals, junior sports events, university sports meets, etc.

That cold cup of chocolate beverage that quenches one’s thirst under the scorching heat tasted like none other.

The small cup was never enough, and some of us, the mischievous ones, would queue up again!

Why am I talking about Milo and fond memories of childhood? Well, there are a few reasons.

Milo, which was introduced in Malaysia by Nestle in 1950, has just celebrated their 70 years of goodness.

They honoured 70 Malaysians, who have inspired goodness and made contributions to society through their respective fields of work.

And I was named as one of them!

They sent a Milo@70 years medallion to the office just before the Hari Raya celebration two weeks ago.

I was humbled.

In the letter, they wrote, “May you continue to pass on the goodness to our future generation as you forge ahead towards greater heights.”

I’m grateful, of course, but not only for the recognition, but truly for the work that Nestle Milo has done for sports development over the years.

They have co-partnered with many sports organisations and foundations over the past decades at grassroots level.

They have always stood by sports bodies, who have scraped the barrel for funding.

They gave platforms to young children to realise their sporting ambitions.

They provided T-shirts – remember the white cotton ones with green letters and graphics, medals and their products as gifts. For any young kid in a rural area, it was a reward worth the gold.

There were a few people behind Milo’s strong involvement in sports but I’m sure the sports fraternity will not forget the contribution of people like Datuk Dina Rizal and Ng Ping Loong.

They have retired but they will be remembered for their humility, generosity and sincere interest to revive Malaysia’s grassroots programmes.

They are not the type of people who give and disappear but literally “turun padang”, and knew the names of promising athletes in the country even before these athletes went on to become stars.

Some youngsters fondly called them Uncle Milo. We need more of them to add refreshing flavour into the sport.

More than just being a brand in the country, Milo has been part of Malaysia’s sports heartbeat and continues to be active in junior programmes, promotion of a healthy lifestyle and unity through sports.

Hopefully, many more corporate companies will come to the ground and be part of Malaysia’s vision to be a successful sporting nation.

Thank you, Milo – for my medal and more importantly, for making a difference in the lives of young talents throughout the country.

l The writer wants to admit that she has become a coffee addict over the years but does keep Milo for rainy seasons.

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