PETALING JAYA: A smile that would light up a room.
That’s how the Malaysian shooting fraternity will remember Olympian and former national shooter Datuk Sabiamad Abdul Ahad, who passed away on Saturday at 11pm at the Serdang Hospital after complaining of chest pains. He was 65.
He was laid to rest at the Kampung Sungai Ramal Dalam Muslim Cemetary, Kajang, at 9am yesterday.
National shooting team manager Datuk Musa Omar, a close friend of Sabiamad, was shocked and saddened by his passing.
“I just had a chat with him on the phone a few days ago. I was surprised with the news because he had been in good shape at his age, ” said Musa.
“He was the one who showed me the ropes when I came into the shooting scene in 1991. He was such a fine gentleman and pleasant. Everybody who met or worked with him only had good things to say about him.
“He had done a lot for the sport. Shooters were inspired by him. He was a great manager too as he had managed the team in lots of competitions. He will be missed.”
Not only was Sabiamad a decorated figure in shooting but he did a lot for the community service, especially in Kajang, where he had built surau and community centres.
Sabiamad took part in the 1984 Olympics and was the flag bearer and represented Malaysia from 1981 to the early 1990s.
During his prime, the 1983 Singapore SEA Games gold medal winner Sabiamad ruled in the pistol events in the South-East Asian level.
After retirement, he stayed in the sport as a coach and manager of the national squad. He had led the teams to the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games, 2017 Singapore SEA Games and 2016 Rio Olympics.
He was also a board member of the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb).
Dewan Negara member Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi also shared a heartfelt message on social media sharing her experiences with Sabiamad.
“When I worked as a broadcast journalist, commentator and sports presenter in 1986, I often interviewed him, ” she said.
“He motivated me when I became a Paralympics athlete and took part in shooting in 2003. Whenever I had a chance, I would sit and listen to his advice, experience and guidance on the best techniques.
“He is highly respected and feared. Abang Sabi, thank you for making our country proud. And thank you for making us want to be like you – that is to be the best in shooting.”