KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Malaysia Rugby (MR) plans to name their development programme for match officials as ‘Akademi Cikgu Maniam’ in memory of the services of former Asian and national referee K. Maniam, who died on Saturday.
“The match officials’ development programme has been running for a long time and Cikgu Maniam is among its leaders and prime movers.
So, we will name it ‘Akademi Cikgu Maniam’ to honour and remind everyone of his sacrifices and love for the game,” MR president Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya told Bernama today.
Fondly known as Cikgu Maniam among the rugby fraternity since the 1970s, Maniam, 77, died of cancer at his family home in Brickfields, here, on Saturday.
Maniam, who was a teacher in Taiping in the 80s and 90s, was well-known for his dedication and love for rugby and used to travel from Taiping, Perak via bus and train just to officiate matches in the Klang Valley.
He started his refereeing career in 1975, officiating at school-level matches before gaining recognition to become a national and Asian-level referee in the 1980s. He had also officiated at the 1985 Asia Cup.
Cikgu Maniam retired as a referee in 1990 but continued to serve in various roles in MR and Asia Rugby till his last breath. Among them were as Coaching Match Official, Assessor and Citing Commissioner.
For his contributions, Maniam was presented with the Asian Rugby’s ‘Carlson Lin’ Match Officiating Award in 2014.