Malaysia missed a badminton legend after Tan Aik Mong died.
Fondly known in the badminton fraternity as the gentle giant, Aik Mong lost his battle against liver cancer at the age of 70 on Sunday (May 31). In the 1960s and 1970s, Aik Mong and his elder brother Tan Aik Huang, the longtime Champion of All-England, became household names. The Penangite was, from 1966 to 1975, a singles and doubles player with the national team.
He was diligent and stubborn but had a pure core and would still go the extra mile to support others.
He led Malaysia in the final of the 1972 Thomas Cup, won the title of the 1971 Asian Championships and won medals at two SEA Games.
He was also the National Coach who educated the Sidek brothers in the 1980s, namely Misbun, Jalani, and Razif.
The graduate of the University of Malaya already had comprehensive expertise of information technology and worked of two big corporations as a network developer and machine consultant, thus his title-the machine whiz.
His passion for badminton was boundless, as even when he was 63 in 2013, he took up the task confidently as the director of the Talent Management Group (TMG) of the Badminton Association of Malaysia, aiming to add value to the coaching and training branch.
He had ambitious hopes and proposals to change the environment of the Malaysian badminton but his tenure lasted just 18 days.
Aik Mong was also enthusiastic about tennis in addition to badminton, and had a wide group of friends.
Former Thomas Cupper Datuk James Selvaraj, who competed in the 1965 Asian school tournament with Aik Mong in Sri Lanka when they were both 15, said they had kept in touch with each other.
BAM chairman Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria has expressed his condolences to the family of Aik Mong. BAM wishes to offer our most heartfelt condolences to the owners. Telling that He ‘d done so much for malaysian badminton and BAM. The badminton society will miss him dearly.