Motorcyclist killed in KJE accident was stalwart of local rugby fraternity

Body of Slemat Rakisan being moved from the house at Yung Ping Road to the mosque, Masjid Al-Mukminin.
Body of Slemat Rakisan being moved from the house at Yung Ping Road to the mosque, Masjid Al-Mukminin.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Mr Slemat Rakisan was a former St Andrew's Secondary School and national rugby player whose dedication to the sport continued beyond his playing days in a variety of roles.
Mr Slemat Rakisan was a former St Andrew's Secondary School and national rugby player whose dedication to the sport continued beyond his playing days in a variety of roles.PHOTO: MHA

SINGAPORE - The 57-year-old motorcyclist who died in an accident at the Kranji Expressway (KJE) on Thursday (March 16) was a well-known member of the local rugby community.

Mr Slemat Rakisan was a former St Andrew's Secondary School and national rugby player whose dedication to the sport continued beyond his playing days in a variety of roles.

He served terms as vice-president of the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) and as president of the Singapore Society of Rugby Union Referees.

Mr Slemat  also coached several secondary school rugby teams.

His identity was confirmed by his nephew Syed Mohamed Alkaff in a Facebook post on Friday which includes details for Mr Slemat's burial.

Tributes have poured in for the "gentle rugby star", most notably in an article written by former journalist Suresh Nair that compiles a number of reactions from prominent members of the rugby community.

Incumbent SRU president Low Teo Ping also paid tribute to Mr Slemat's contributions: "His love for rugby went beyond playing the sport. He went on to administer, referee, coach and promote. Slemat will be missed. RIP."

Others shared their memories of a man who was hardworking and gracious in all he did.

His former coach Natahar Bava called Mr Slemat a "hardworking sportsman, prepared to give more than 100 per cent in the field of play".

Mr Mohamed Taufik, who was trained by Mr Slemat, said: "He was a special coach that helped me in more ways that I could imagine... I can never repay the special attention he showered on me."

 

Mr Slemat died after he was struck by a wheel that was dislodged from a trailer truck. The truck was travelling on the opposite side of the highway, as shown in a dashcam video that has been circulating on social media.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Singapore Civil Defence Force.