Teja – A life devoted to Malaysian sports and history

Teja Singh, a retired history teacher and hockey umpire, passed away on 15 Sept. Sports writer S.S. Dhaliwal recalls the life and times of the Malacca resident

| Malacca, Malaysia | 16 Sept 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Teja Singh (seated, white turban) with some of the local Malacca boys at the Gurdwara Sahib Malacca office - PHOTO / SUPPLIED
Teja Singh (seated, white turban) with some of the local Malacca boys at the Gurdwara Sahib Malacca office – PHOTO / SUPPLIED

By S. S. Dhaliwal

He was easily identified as he always used to wear white turban and pants.

Serious and stern looking on the exterior but a man with such humility, warm hearted and friendly is the best way to describe Master Teja Singh Dhaliwal who passed away in Malacca on Thursday.

The 79 years old suffered a heart attack at his home and breathed his last at the Malacca General Hospital. Teja had undergone a by-pass operation in May this year and really never recovered from it.

My early introduction to a man that I later on admired upon learning more about him was at the Malacca Sikh Temple where Teja volunteered his services, also serving as the Treasurer in 2009/2012 especially during the annual prayers for Sant Sohan Singh Ji.

SASKAAR / CREMATION: 4pm on 17 Sept 2016 (Sat) at Jelutong Crematorium. Cortege leaves residence 5204 C, Taman Muhibbah Klebang at 3pm.

During my playing days I used to wonder who this gentleman was, always donning white pants, trade marks of his umpiring of Hockey and Cricket playing days.

A history teacher at Malacca High School, Teja also represented Malacca in both hockey and cricket and went on to become a Hockey coach that help mound the careers of players like Tam Chiew Seng, Tan Kam Seng, K. Embaraj, Lim Chiow Chuan, Chin Boon Ghee, Wallace Tan, , Sewak Singh, Tam Chew Meng even dating back to the years of Dato Dr. Mahinder Singh.

The MHS Hockey team held for years the record of defeating the Gurney School 36-0 in a Malacca schools Hockey tournament.

teja-malacca-1609bFormer international umpire V. Sasidharan had the privilege of playing under the tutelage of Teja in Cricket for the government services tournaments.

“His managerial and human relation skills is something that I always admired and still hold on to as he taught me a lot,” said Sasidharan.

Teja was also credited with teaching history classes with distinction, often opting for story telling to make it more interesting for his students.

MHS had the proud record of being the best school in terms of History grades in the Lower Certificate of Education and Senior Cambridge exams with over 80 per cent scoring distinction when Teja was there.

Teja is the elder Brother of former international Harnek Singh and Brother in law of former MHF Umpires Board Chairman Lt. Col (R) Narinder Singh.

Rest in peace Sir and may the gates of heaven welcome this great personality as he meets his maker.

Good bye Teja, you will be missed but we will all remember you with sweet memories.

This original article, entitled ‘Teja – A life devoted to sports and history’, was first published on 16 Sept 2016 at the Malaysian Hockey blog. You can view it here


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    Unnamed Reader: Excellent gentleman. Rare breed. Had a pleasure of meeting and having long chats in earlier days. He was I was told by hockey greats a good sportsman. Belong to a generation of Malaysians who contributed to the nation, post independence, expected nothing and got no rewards. Sheer passion, dedication, honesty and integrity. Unsung heroes .

    Vinder Singh: A great loss for Melaka. Many sikh youth grew up under his guidance.
    He was Secretary of Sant Sohan Singh Ji Melaka Memorial Society Malaysia from 1998 to 2004.
    May WaheGuru bless his soul & place him among d blessed. R I P Master Ji & thanks for d Guidance.

    Kuldip Gill: Lost a good friend. A gentleman who will long be remembered for his selfless dedication to the Sikh community. Thank you and farewell dear friend.

    Raja Purushothman: R.I.P sir. My history cikgu n our school discipline master

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