IPOH, Aug 3 — The former national great badminton doubles player, Datuk Ng Boon Bee passed away due to an aneurysm today, said his son-in-law, John Yuen.

He said, Boon Bee, the 84-year-old Ipoh-born player died at the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun (HPRB) at 4 pm.

 “All this while, he was fine and suddenly he felt a back pain around 1 pm today then he was rushed to a private hospital and later to HRPB before he was pronounced dead,” he told Bernama when contacted.

Boon Bee is survived by his wife Datin Tong Yee Cheng, 85, and a daughter, Gillian, 51, while his son, Thomas, 54, died last year. 

According to John, a three-day wake will be held at Boon Bee’s residence from tomorrow at Chemor while the funeral will be held at the Nirvana Memorial Park, here on Sunday.

His talent reportedly began to shine after emerging as the champion of the singles and doubles events at a boys’ school in Ipoh, in 1955 before winning the Perak Junior Mixed Doubles and Men’s Doubles in 1956 while making his first appearance on the international stage in the 1957 Malaysia Open.

Boon Bee and his partner,  Datuk Tan Yee Khan emerged champions when they first represented the country by participating in the All England tournament, in 1965.

Among his other stellar gold medal achievements were the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games men’s doubles, 1962 Asian Games Jakarta men’s doubles, 1966 Asian Games Bangkok men’s doubles, 1970 Asian Games Bangkok men’s and mix doubles and 1967 Jakarta Thomas Cup men’s team.

Boon Bee, who paired with Datuk Punch Gunalan, managed to give the Malaysian contingent a silver medal at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games after narrowly losing 4-15,15-2,11-15 at the hands of Indonesian doubles Ade Chandra and Christian Hadinata before retiring in 1971.

The right-handed player who later became a tennis and badminton coach in Ipoh was selected as the recipient of the 1968 National Sportsman’s Award and received the award of Dato’ Paduka Tunku Ja’afar (DPTJ) from the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, in 2008.

Meanwhile commenting on Boon Bee’s passing, BAM secretary-general Datuk Kenny Goh said Boon Bee will be forever remembered as the national badminton icon and his death was a huge loss for this country.  

Another former player, Datuk James Selvaraj said he was growing up as a rookie in the badminton arena and was lucky to watch Boon Bee’s unique skills and talent which gave motivation for other players to learn and excel too.


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