Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali is greeted by Rashid Sidek at the launch of the Juara Tangkis Tun Dr Siti Hasmah programme in Petaling Jaya yesterday. PIC BY SYARAFIQ ABD SAMAD

AN emotional Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali was almost in tears as she recalled the time when Malaysia won the Thomas Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1992.

The 93-year-old, who was the BA of Malaysia (BAM) patron then, said she treated the national players like her own children as it was important to keep them united.

“I get emotional and start tearing every time I revisit the year (1992) when we last won the Thomas Cup,” said the wife of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the launch of the Juara Tangkis Tun Dr Siti Hasmah yesterday.

“I will never forget that moment because these players were like my children and they saw me as their mother.

“And as a mother, it was my duty to keep them united.

“I never got involved with the technical aspects of the sport. I left that to the coaches.

“I can also remember how I had to talk to (Cheah) Soon Kit and (Soo) Beng Kiang who did not get along with each other.

“I went to both of them and said there is no such thing, you both only have each other as partner.

“These two players were the ones who delivered us the winning point,” added Dr Siti Hasmah.

Dr Siti Hasmah, a badminton enthusiast, wished former players Rashid Sidek, Soon Kit, Foo Kok Keong, Ong Ewe Hock, Rahman Sidek, Roslin Hashim, Zakry Latif, Koo Kien Keat and Woon Khe Wei all the best as they come together to identify, nurture and train future Malaysian champions through their programme.

“I wish them all the best. The most important thing to be a great player is hard work and discipline. If there is one sport that can bring back the gold for Malaysia, it’s badminton,” she added.

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