Why honour sports greats only after death?

Why are there accolades and good words only after one has passed away?

Why do we only appreciate one’s contributions when they are no longer in the world?

Why do we rush to send the biggest wreath when we cannot even spare time to pay our final respects?

Why do we come out with flimsy excuses in order not to attend the wake or last rites?

Bottom line – is a person more appreciated only when he/she passes away?

My late mum used to advise me – drop everything if you are to attend a funeral, one needs to share the sorrow, grief and loss of that individual.

She added, if you cannot attend a joyous occasion it’s ok, but never find an excuse to miss a funeral.

That advise has stuck with me for years.

Hence when attending the funeral of Dato Dr. Harjit Singh in Johor Baru, I was somewhat over whelmed by the number of mourners that formed a steady stream that came to pay their last respects.

As written by senior journalist Frankie D’ Cruz in FMT, everybody loved Harjit.

A unique individual, lost far too early, that was what most had to say at his wake in KL and Johor Baru.

Honest, trustworthy and never once out for gratification or self interest, Dr. Harjit was one of the kind.

His dedication towards cricket has been listed many a time, but Dr. Harjit played vital roles in Hockey as well, serving Johor Hockey Association and Johor Sikhs Sports Council.

Many remember Dr. Harjit as a kind heart red individual, always taking out money from his own pockets for sports.

The saddest part of the story is that Dr. Harjit had just moved back into his late father Mewa Singh’s house after renovations were done done nine months ago.

Seeing his mum seated in silence by his coffin , accompanied by his widow was heart wrenching.

What plansHarjit and the two ladies would have talking about in their nine months living together?

Humans plan but ultimately the almighty decides as it’s said

Hence a thought went through my mind – who does god take the good people away so fast?

Is there no justice in the courtyard of God as I looked at the lifeless body of Dr. Harjit lying in The Coffin.

Dr. Harjit captured the life’s and IMG nations of many, he went way ahead of what should he been the better part of his life.

If the Johor Government and the Johor Cricket Council do not have it within themselves to honour Dr. Harjit by naming the Johor Cricket Academy after him, then at least name one of the stands after the Father of Johor Cricket please.

But as we seek justified accolades, always remember that NS has a unique tradition.

In the case of former state player, unfortunately RM7k is still left unaccountable by the two individuals

And the late S. Satgunam completely forgotten while the late MT Lingam trophy has been ignored by the NS Ceylonese Association who surprisingly still get votes at AGM each two years.

The world of sports need cleansing, both the physical and moral aspects.