Badminton Life

Malaysia's Deaf Gold Medallists Want Recognition

And their achievement came in the 2007 Second World Deaf Badminton Championships in Germany.

Although hardly in the same level as the Olympic Games, the duo are still disappointed that they did not have the same reception as Beijing men's singles silver medallist Lee Chong Wei on his return to Malaysia.

Their story, datelined from George Town in Penang, emerged in the local media after they complained that they were "ignored and forgotten".

"We were surprised and disappointed that when we returned with gold medals in September last year, no government officials were there to welcome our team home," Teh said.

"We won gold for the first time in the history of Malaysian badminton in a world badminton event, yet no government officials were there to welcome us."

He added that the pair did not even receive any official congratulatory message or letter.

The only people to welcome them back at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport were representatives from the Malaysian Sports Federation for the Deaf, and friends.

Despite few people knowing that such a tournament even exists, Teh felt that something should have been done to recognise the efforts of two Malaysians who had sacrificed their time and money to train for the event.

He said it was still a world event and the lack of government recognition proved that there was discrimination towards the hearing-impaired in the country.

"We wanted to do Malaysia proud but it seems that our efforts went unnoticed," he said.

Teh said they were no less patriotic or willing to give up their time for the good of the country than their able-bodied counterparts. And that, at least, deserves some sort of recognition from the government.

He said the duo would train hard for three weeks at the Kampung Pandan Sports Complex in preparation for the Germany event.

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