MALAYSIAN ARMED FORCES SQUASH LEGEND - SGT ONG KHAI HOCK RMAF
16 Apr 21
The game of squash was introduced by the British in the 1930s at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Perak. The first championship recorded was in 1939 at the MCKK. The final was between two great leaders of Malaysia, the Late HRH Tuanku Jaafar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman, 10th YDP Agong and the Late Honorable Tun Hj Abdul Razak bin Dato' Hussein, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia. HRH Tuanku Ja'afar won 3-1.
Squash was officially registered to be one of the national sports in 1972 and the man behind it was YAM Tunku Imran. Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) was formed at the Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur on Sun 25 June 1972.
The British Forces introduced squash in the 50s. There were squash courts in several camps, Majidee Camp Johor Bahru, Terendak Camp Melaka, Taiping Garrison, RAAF/RMAF Base Butterworth and Sungai Petani Camp.
KH Ong took up squash when he attended an Air Force course in UK in 1971 - 1972. Upon his return he was posted to Butterworth Base and he took up the game seriously with the RAAF players. KH Ong became the national squash player in the 1979. He represented Malaysia in various regional and world level championships. The national players then were Tunku Imram, Nik Mohd Din, Tony Tiah, Hood Salleh, Maj S Maniam, Syed Mustafa and KH Ong.
KH Ong retired in 1980 after 12 years of service and started his squash outfit at the Lake View Club Subang Jaya. He spent most of his time training his son Ong Beng Hee who was 7 years old. He decided to stop Ong Beng Hee from schooling after Form 3 in 1996 and to train full time in squash. In early 1998, a special recce team was in London to scout for a training centre for Ong Beng Hee. The recce team members were YAM Tunku Imran, the Late Tan Sri Alex Lee, KH Ong and AJ Wong, Executive Director of SRAM. YAM Tunku Imran picked me and KH Ong from our hotel in an official chauffeur driven Rolls-Royce!!!
In mid-1999, Ong Beng Hee left for London to train under Neil Harvey. Among the players in the training centre was the British and World No.1 player Peter Nicol. Ong Beng Hee was fortunate to train with Peter Nicol. KH Ong had to sell his house to finance Ong Beng Hee's training and to participate in tournaments in Europe. The funding from SRAM and National Sports Council was insufficient for Ong Beng Hee's full time training in London. It was the most difficult years for KH Ong but he strongly believed Ong Beng Hee will make it.
In 1998, Ong Beng Hee rewarded his father KH Ong by winning the coveted World Junior Championship in Princeton University, USA and became the first World Junior Champion in the country. Ong Beng Hee turned professional player in 1999 and won the Asian title and several major squash championships. Upon his retirement from professional squash, Ong Beng Hee was offered to be the National Chief Coach for rackets sports in Qatar.
Today 12 April 2021, KH Ong became a member of MACVA and AJ Wong handed the MACVA Membership Card to KH Ong at the Lake View Club Subang Jaya.
KH Ong, 74 years old, is a squash legend in the Armed Forces and the country spanning more than 50 years in the sport. MACVA is very proud of KH Ong's contributions to the Armed Forces and national squash and we wish him all the very best.
The latest news, Ong Beng Hee has been offered to be the national chief squash coach of USA effective June 2021. MACVA would like to wish him every success in his new job.
Lt Col Wong Ah Jit (Retired)
MACVA MEMBERS ARE MOST WELCOME TO VISIT SYKT KH ONG AT LAKE VIEW CLUB SUBANG JAYA OR TO CATCH UP WITH KH ONG. KH ONG CAN BE REACHED AT 012-2085900.