Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Paul I knew

By Subramaniam Alagasundram
(Former Senior Sportswriter)

I was one of those quite shocked and distressed to see no write-up on the passing of Datuk T. Paul Murugasu in the main stream media. Perhaps, this was because, none of the current crop of reporters knew the man.

Still, the sports editors could have asked a former colleague to write a few lines, recalling his contribution to Malaysian football.Datuk Paul was never an easy man to deal with if you were meeting him for the first time.

With him, you had to win his confidence. Having done that, you had to make sure, you worked hard at staying on the right side of him.

As a young reporter, I faced this peculiar predicament often. He was always suspicious of reporters and ordered his staff to keep a close watch on documents whenever there were any of us around. Those days, reporters did their leg work and were often "mooching" around FAM House in Jalan Maharalela.

To me, it was always fun to try and pick up some useful info and then confront him - just to see the look on his face. He would growl from behind his desk and very reluctantly volunteer to confirm or deny the info. It happened so often with the Merdeka Tournament.

But Datuk Paul also had a king heart beating inside him and when he was in one of his better moods, would actualy sit you down and have a chat. Unfortunately, it was not often. I remembered calling him a few years ago and his first question was, " what do you want? You fellows only call when you want something".

That was Datuk Paul for you! Looking back, I wish had called him more often just to say hello. He was to me, a good friend, who helped mould my career as a sportswriter.

May God grant his soul rest.

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