This is the tale of two Penangites - one an all-conquering squash star and the other a former athletics coach.
Both personalities will remember July 11, 2008 for a different reason. It has become a study in contrast, perhaps.
While Nicol Ann David was confirmed to be a recipient of the Darjah Setia Pahlawan Negeri which carries the title Datuk, from Penang Governor, Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, C. Ramanathan, the man who helped produce Bionic Girl, Zaiton Othman, Rabia Abdul Salam and a host of others, was sentenced to jail earlier today.
Frankly speaking, it is premature to bestow Nicol the award. Why don't we wait until she retires? How many athletes were conferred the Datukship while still active? Why buck the trend now?
My point is, Nicol has already been richly rewarded in many terms. She will be remembered and history will judge her fairly, don't worry. Her place in the Hall of Fame is assured. The Datukship can wait.
If the idea is to rush to gain mileage out of all these, we should instead recognise the driving force behind Nicol, and certainly that individual or individuals are her parents.
Athletics Coach Ramanathan Serves His 4 Years Jail From Today
PUTRAJAYA, July 11 (Bernama) -- Former national athletics coach C. Ramanathan started serving his four-year jail term Friday after the Court of Appeal here set aside his acquittal on charges of molesting two junior athletes aged 15 and 16.
Justice Datuk Zainun Ali, in allowing the prosecution's appeal, held that the Sessions Court judge was correct in convicting and sentencing Ramanathan, 72, on the two charges at the end of the defence case.
"We affirm the Sessions Court judge's decision. The High Court decision (acquittal) is set aside and the sentence is to run forthwith," said Zainun, who heard the appeal with justices Datuk Wira Abu Samah Nordin and Datuk Sulong Matjeraie.
Ramanathan, who looked worried, was then sent to the Kajang prison. Zainun, in the unanimous decision, ruled that the five-year delay in giving the written grounds of judgment was not a miscarriage of justice to Ramanathan as held by the High Court judge.
Ramanathan was sentenced by the Sessions Court in 1996 to four years jail each, to run concurrently, for using criminal force on two junior athletes aged 15 and 16 with intent to outrage their modesty at the Malaysian Amateur Bsketball Association building in Jalan Hang Tuah here between 9am and 10pm on Oct 23 and 27, 1992.
Zainun said the court's finding was based not only on the two questions raised, namely the five-year delay and the recording of the demeanour of witnesses by the Sessions Court judge, but also on the entire proceedings in the Sessions Court.
She said the five-year delay would not vitiate the entire proceedings.
"The trial judge had given her decision one month after the defence case ended, the written ground of judgment was only out nearly five years later. The decision had been given early but the grounds of judgment were delayed. The delay in the grounds of judgment was not miscarriage of justice," she said.
On the question of recording the demeanour of witnesses, she said it was not mandatory for the Sessions Court to do so.
She said the trial judge had given credit to the demeanour of the witnesses and was correct in applying the standard of proof as was acknowledged by the High Court judge.-- BERNAMA