I have the honour of chatting with Dato’ Eddy Choong during the state event some weeks back. Being much (A LOT, actually) older than most reporters, I immediately recognised who Dato’ Eddy Choong is during the dinner attended by Nicol David and Lee Chong Wei.
Not wanting to miss an opportunity, I quickly head over to his table and plonked my video camera and started to introduce myself. Dato’ is a very nice, friendly, chatty gentleman.
I told him that I have heard a lot of things about him when I was a kid. Penangites from my era and older will know his famous stunt of holding a wooden stool while playing badminton, and yet, he could still win the game.
Let me share one 1956 clip. It is rather blurry with no audio but doesn’t matter, you can still see the young Eddy Choong in action.
After that night interview, I never really got around to edit the video because I do not have old photos or anything to make the cutaways (those clips we insert into videos so that there is varieties to watch). He was peering really close to my camera so the frames were not satisfactory to me.
Therefore, I kept the video. Then, I met him again at the opening of the Speaker’s Corner. I asked him if I can take a few photos of his old pictures for my video. He invited me to his office in the afternoon.
I waited for a while because I reached there too early. They put me in a corridor on a hot, stuffy afternoon. I waited and waited like all good reporters do. I think it was a good one hour sauna for me.
I was lucky. That afternoon, some other TV crews (all three of them with huge camera, professional sports reporter and etc) also made appointment to see Dato’ Choong. If they didn’t go, I wouldn’t know that Thomas Cup was just four days away (from the day I was in his office).
So, I got an added bonus of Dato’ Choong talking about the state of badminton nowadays. I like him because he is very vocal, not afraid to voice out and he is not one of those diplomatic, politically correct snob who says the most fake things. He tells as it is. He urged the sports reporter and I, “You can do the nation a favour….” He revealed what’s wrong with the state of our badminton. He said he is 80 years old already, he wants to say what have to be said. He also quipped that although he had said those things many times, the newspapers/TVs stations never aired what he actually mentioned.
Well, meeting Dato’ Eddy Choong and talking to him is one of the nice things of being a citizen journalist. My satisfaction is having the opportunity to talk to a champion like him. There is so much to discover and learn from wise people like him.