PETALING JAYA • Chow Kwai Lam, a well-known figure in Malaysian football, died yesterday. He was 76. The former national player and coach, who had previously survived three strokes in 1995, 2000 and 2013, died at the Ampang Puteri Hospital in Selangor at 11am.
"My father passed away peacefully. All the children and other family members were with him," said Chow's daughter, his eldest child, who wanted to be known only as Carey.
She said her father was admitted to the hospital last Friday after his health deteriorated.
Chow was among the biggest names in Malaysian football, having represented the national team from 1965-1971, and was the captain of the 1965 Merdeka Tournament squad. He also coached the national team in 1978 before taking the reins at Selangor from 1979-1983. He then moved to coach Sarawak in 1984, and Kuala Lumpur in three stints - 1987-1989, 1992, and 1995-1998. He helped Kuala Lumpur win three straight Malaysia Cups from 1987-1989.
Chow also coached in the S-League - now known as the Singapore Premier League - with Tampines Rovers from 2002-2003 and Paya Lebar Punggol from 2004-2005. As coach of the latter, Chow was found guilty of trying to influence the outcome of an S-League match in 2005 and was fined S$50,000 in 2007.
"He was the best coach in the region then with his credentials and record. We looked at his previous achievements and decided that he was a good fit for us moving forward as a club," former Tampines chairman Teo Hock Seng said of Chow, who led the Stags to the Singapore Cup in 2002, and two fourth-place finishes in 2002 and 2003.
Tampines defender Fahrudin Mustafic, who played under Chow, said: "He was a very strict coach, no nonsense and the players respected him for that. He had an old-school coaching method, where he focused on discipline on the pitch and that impressed me the most."
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK