The sports fraternity is in deep sorrow. The first Malayan to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 yard dash is no more. Sidique Ali Merican, sprinter-turned-administrator, bed-ridden due to stroke for a number of years, passed away at his Petaling Jaya residence last night.
In his prime the Kelantan-born sprinter was famed for his crouching start. It was exactly six decades ago that Sidique emerged as the golden boy of athletics, clocking 10.3s running barefooted in Kota Bharu. His 9.8s was registered in the 1952 inter-varsity athletics championship in England, representing Loughborough College.
He later stamped his mark as an official, both in the government and non-governmental organisations. When he was made the Director of Sports in the Youth and Sports Ministry in 1981, he made the call to utilise foreign technicians to raise our standard. Sidique was also part of the team that identified Bukit Jalil as the location for the National Sports Complex in the 1970s.
Sidique was 78. He leaves behind wife Fatimah Shariff and sons, Dr Ezlan and Shazman. He will be laid to rest this afternoon. Al-Fatihah and may Allah bless his departed soul.
PROFILE SIDIQUE ALI MERICAN
Date/place of birth: Aug 24, 1930/Kota Baru
Family: Married to Fatimah Shariff, sons Dr Ezlan and Shazman
Honours: Malayan sprint champ 1949-1954
Career: Sports organiser of schools in Kelantan, assistant director of sports, director of sports of the Youth and Sports Ministry, deputy chef-de-mission to the Montreal Olympic Games 1976, deputy chef-de-mission to the Edmonton CommonwealthGames 1978, organising secretary of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 1977, assistant secretary of Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).