Cambodian PM awards former Malaysian journalist for SEA Games contribution

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet on Friday conferred the Royal Order Monisarapon Mohaseng award on former Malaysian sports journalist-turned-sports events management specialist, S.T. Arasu.

Arasu, 59, who joined the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee as a consultant in 2021, played an instrumental role in preparing for the biennial multi-sport games that were held in the Kingdom for the first time in 64 years.

The former Star journalist worked as a consultant for the 32nd Sea Games and the 12th Para Games that were held in May and June, respectively.

The award ceremony was held at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, in conjunction with a special celebration to mark Cambodia’s success in hosting the games.

“It is a timely recognition for Malaysia and Malaysians in the sports arena internationally. Cambodia was hosting the event for the first time and we had to overcome multiple challenges.

“With strong leadership at the NOCC (National Olympic Council of Cambodia ) as well as the cordial teamwork of those involved in organising the Games made it a success. It is an extremely exciting and memorable achievement for me,” said Arasu, who hails from Johor, in a statement.

The award is given to individuals who have contributed significantly in the fields of arts, education, literacy, social work or science.

Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Datuk Eldeen Husaini Hashim lauded Arasu’s achievement for his exemplary contribution to sports at international level.

“I am happy to know that our fellow Malaysian has been accorded recognition by the government of Cambodia for his contribution and dedication towards the success of the SEA Games 2023. It is truly an honour and I believe that he will further accomplish more in the near future,” said Eldeen.

During his journalism career in Malaysia, Arasu has extensively covered local and international sports, and was awarded the Malaysian Sportswriter of the Year twice. 

Currently, Arasu is the president of the Kabaddi Association of Kuala Lumpur, deputy president of the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation and the secretary-general of World Kabaddi.

On Friday, Hun Manet joined thousands of Cambodians to celebrate the country’s SEA Games success story, where the Kingdom won a record 81 gold, 74 silver and 127 bronze medals and was ranked fourth on the medal table.