Jugjet Singh Randhawa: A Loss For Malaysian Sports

Jugjet Singh Randhawa: A Loss For Malaysian Sports

Malaysian sports lost one of its colourful characters with the demise of writer Jugjet Singh Randhawa.

In his 30 years as a newshound, Jugjet had left significant footprints on the local sports scene, especially in hockey, which he said was his passion.

Such was his passion that Jugjet would report on tournaments on his days off without claiming a single sen of overtime.

Over three decades, Jugjet had seen the rise and fall of Malaysian hockey, national coaches and national players come and go.

And he was a reporter with a quick repartee on any issues of the day.

Called “Bob” by his friends because of his penchant for wearing Bob Marley T-shirts, Jugjet’s columns were always witty as he narrated what he saw around him.

But away from the workplace, Jugjet had another passion that would turn his cherubic face into something solemnly intense — playing chess online.

At times, after a victory or two, he would tell colleagues of his Kasparov-like moves.

Sadly, Jugjet wasn’t able to realise his dream of covering the biggest show on Earth, the Olympics.

He was supposed to go for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but things didn’t go according to plan due to the Covid19 pandemic. And he had hoped to be able to report on the Paris Olympics in July 2024, but sadly that had eluded him too.

The erudite New Straits Times reporter died on 14 March 2024 after a long battle with cancer at the age of 55. He leaves behind wife Jasbir Kaur Aujla and sons, Arvin, Sanjit, Ranjit and Baljit.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, who visited Jugjet at Beacon Hospital in Petaling Jaya, said: “He gave me a very lasting impression, especially when I attend hockey events and press conferences. He would be at a corner, he’s very quiet but very knowledgeable, that’s the impression he gave me.

“His questions were very spot on, he would ask one question but he really gave me the impression that he knew a lot about the game. I’m glad that I managed to see him on such short notice.

“I want to thank his family, I think the family had given him to sports. A lot of his time was taken to serve sports, and Malaysian sports owe a lot to the writers, and this is somebody who had done this for a long time.”

New Straits Times Group Editor Farrah Naz Karim said Jugjet was so passionate about his work that he turned down an executive post in the company because he wanted to be at the hockey pitch.

“Jugjet was committed to his reporting job. He was like a big brother to me and had given me much advice,” said Farrah.

NST Sports Editor Ajitpal Singh said: “Jugjet’s passing is a big loss to the Timesport family. He was one of my first mentors when I entered the field of sports journalism. He was a bold and brave journalist with a kind heart. He wrote beautiful columns and his passion for hockey made him one of the best and respected reporters from the NST in the sport.

“Jugjet’s absence will be deeply felt. There can only be one Jugjet Singh, my mentor, my teacher, and my friend.

Former NST sports editor Vijesh Rai said: “We worked alongside for more than 20 years on the NST sportsdesk and Jugjet was always someone you could count on. Although hockey was his passion, Jugjet was always willing to lend a hand to his colleagues covering other sports. Always jovial, he had the ability to lighten up tense situations with his one-liners. He was a friend more than a colleague.”

Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, who turned up at Jugjet’s bedside, said: “Jugjet was a man of his word. We both have great respect for each other. At times when I am clueless with ideas , I would always ask his thoughts which not many people knew. He was always frank and critical with his views but I knew it was because of his love for the game which was a big part of his life. We are going to miss a good man and a good friend.”

Former NST sports editor Datuk Lazarus Rokk: “I found Jugjet, or Bob as he was fondly known, to be a strong sportswriter who wasn’t afraid to write the truth. That was a quality I not only advocated as a sports editor, but also admired in a sportswriter.

“He was also a good writer, with a style that was unique to him. He had always tempered his comments with a dash of sarcasm and a sense of humor.

“Speaking of sense of humour, I remember when I asked him once, what was a pronoun. He shot back almost immediately by saying a pronoun is a noun that has lost its amateur status. Yes, he was witty as well.

“If I was to name my starting lineup, his would be one of the first names that I would have penned down.

“In short, Bob was a good sportswriter, a good friend, and a good team player.

“May the rest of his journey be pleasant and peaceful.”

Twentytwo13 editor Haresh Deol said: “Jugjet saw me grow in the industry. When I first stepped into the world of journalism in 2000, Jugjet was already a leading voice in sports journalism, especially hockey. He continued being a strong voice in the sport.

“I visited him on Thursday morning, and it was really heartbreaking to see a fighter in our industry fighting for his own life.

“You did well, you fought well. My deepest condolences to his wife, Jasbir, their children, and family. No words can ease the pain. Stay strong.”

National team head coach Sarjit Singh said: “Jugjet was a sincere and honest person. He supported hockey a lot. And he covered many hockey events, including the 2005 Junior World Cup in Rotterdam when I was the national junior coach.”

Former national hockey captain Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi said: “I’m going to miss Jugjet, who was a true friend. I have known him for close to three decades and he is a true supporter of Malaysian hockey. And a good sports journalist.”

  • Adapted from New Straits Times


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