In between laughter, discussions and guffaws, Kak Pah would often pass cynical remarks to me. She brooked no nonsense and did not mince her words. A niece of former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam, yet Kak Pah did not use her connections to undermine people. Kak Pah, who was a middle-distance runner and equally active in netball and badminton at State level in the 1960s, agreed to disagree in a civilised manner. Her son Faisal Ahmad Akhia represented the country in fencing in the SEA Games.
Covering the Athens Olympic Games for the Malay Mail in 2004 was memorable for me for a lot of reasons. One of them was Kak Pah's reaction to my story.
TAEKWONDO exponent Elaine Teo arrived safely in Athens via Zurich but she was wrapped in cotton wool by the secretariat to prevent her from buckling under pressure.
Greeted by Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) assistant secretary Latifah Ya'cob, Malaccan-born Elaine was accompanied by coach R. Dhanaraj.
Elaine, who has been earmarked as a medal prospect by the contingent, alongside cyclist Josiah Ng, will participate in the 49kg category on Thursday.
Attempts to meet her at the Games Village in Acharnon last night proved futile, with members of the secretariat insisting she could be interviewed during her training sessions.
Elaine stands a good chance of mounting the podium after winning the Austrian Open and a competition in South Korea prior to the sporting fest in Greece.
"Oh you tulis wrapped in a cotton wool, eh? Please, eh, we did not do that. It was due to the timing that she was not able to talk to the Press," said Kak Pah, who as a member of the secretariat was responsible for the in and outs of the athletes. Kak Pah would remind me of that story each time we met. As secretary of MFF since 1989, Latifah made inroads into the regional body, holding a similar position in the South East Asia Fencing Federation.
To Kak Pah, my fellow Johorean and Leo, you will be missed. May Allah grant you paradise, reward you with His majestic light, Eternal Bliss, complete forgiveness and place you in the company of angels and the righteous. Ameen.
To Kak Pah's family, may Allah provide you the strength and protection and let our sadness remind us of the reality of our existence.