“It is a great personal satisfaction to serve sports. I have no regrets despite the ups and downs.”
Thong Poh Nyen
Year Inducted: 1994
Thong Poh Nyen is best recognised for his contribution towards such sports as swimming, athletics and football as well as his unprecedented years of service with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) as their Honorary Secretary.
Born on 4th March 1915, Poh was the secretary of the Selangor Amateur Athletic Association and the Selangor Football Association before he moved on to his post in OCM. He was one of the founder members of the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council (FMOC) in the 1950’s, later to be known as the OCM. He was elected their Honorary Secretary in 1960.
During his 32-year stint as OCM’s Honorary Secretary, Poh Nyen, or “Uncle Thong” as he was fondly called, ran a rather tight ship. In 1994 he was selected to receive the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Centennial Trophy, in honour of his tremendous contribution towards sport and in promoting the Olympic Movement in the country.
He was the chef-de-mission for three Commonwealth Games – in Perth (1962), Jamaica (1966) and Edmonton (1978). He is among the handful of officials in the region who helped establish the SEA Games (then known as the SEAP Games). He was also the Founder Member and later the Vice President of the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia and National Archery Association of Malaysia, among the other positions he held in various other associations.
Thong Poh Nyen succumbed to Parkinson’s disease and passed away in 1998, at the age of 83. He leaves behind years of selfless service and commitment to the development of Malaysian sports which serves as an inspiration for all those he has come in contact with.
1946 - Hon. Secretary, Selangor Amateur Athletics Association
1953 - Vice President, Selangor Football Association, Founder member of FMOC
1955 - Founder member of Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM)
1959 - Founder member, South East Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games Federation, Council Member, SEAP Games Federation, SEA Games Federation, Olympic Council of Asia
1961 - Hon. Secretary of OCM (then FMOC)
1975 - Vice President, National Archery Association of Malaysia
1979 - Council member of Association of National Olympic Committee (ANOC) representing South East Asia
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