Skip to main content

RIP Punch Gunalan

UPDATE 11.10am: Punch loses battle to liver cancer - as reported by Free Malaysia Today.


Former national shuttler Punch Gunalan passed away earlier this morning after being seriously ill for the past week.

He was 68.

Born as Panchacharan Gunalan, the right-hander from Sepang, display on court earned him the nickname "Punch" by the local journos and he later embraced the new name.

He competed in the 1970 Thomas Cup and the All-England title in 1971.

Punch, who stayed in a lovely house in PJ, later turned into the national coach (Thomas Cup team 1992) before playing BA of Malaysia secretary from 1985-1997. He was also enjoyed interesting stints with the Asian Badminton Confederation and the International Badminton Federation.

I remember meeting him sometime ago when we sat down and he described how it was like playing badminton with a wooden racquet and  not having millions to come back to after winning a tournament.

"We had no money then so we sometimes travel by ship, it was good as we could train in the ship. We didn't play for money then, there was hardly any money to begin with. We played because we wanted to play for Malaysia," Punch said.

Sadly, my articles can no longer be found as The Malay Mail do not seem to have an archive system. However, I managed to find an article from the old Sunday Mail on a third party's website as seen here.

RIP Punch. You will be missed.

Bottom pic from


  1. Sometimes it feel like the is not enough time to learn from the doyens of sports - gone to soon - sometimes it feel like we dont value or try to learn from enough from them till they are gone - some of them may not be perfect but we still can learn the good from them

  2. Rest in peace Datuk. You will always be remebered.

  3. Maninderjit (Mike)August 15, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    "The Nation lost a great sporting Hero". He contributed unanimously to Malaysian badminton and world badminton in which his pivotal contribution and always remembered till today is the 1992 Thomas Cup where Malaysia were the Champions. He was a great sportsmen with extraordinare administration skills which he always reminded me that "Sports is above any individual". He is a rare and through breed of sportsmen ever produced by Malaysia and he will be always remembered... Rest in peace Datuk!
    Maninderjit (Mike)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What went wrong with KL SEA Games?

145 gold medals.
It's the best Team Malaysia has ever achieved since the inception of the SEAP Games in1959.
The 29th edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur ended yesterday. The opening ceremony dazzled those at the stands and viewers at home while the performances during the closing ceremony yesterday jogged plenty of musical memories to many.
Our athletes, the real superheroes, brought smiles through their heroic display. They made everyday a happy day.
Kudos to the officials - from the coaches, the National Sports Institute and National Sports Council - for their hard work in ensuring our athletes perform to their best.
But it was not all memorable.

'World fashion disaster' in KL

World Fashion Week Asia 2017 ended over the weekend.

And the launch on Friday at Palace of the Golden Horses at Mines Resort City just outside Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a forgettable night.


It was poorly organised.

Just as many are trying to get over the nightmare witnessed throughout the KL SEA Games, the organiser of World Fashion Week Asia 2017 has made it look like Malaysians seem to have lost it when it comes to hosting major events and hospitality.

Here's why.

Royal protocol ignored

1. The Sultanah of Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah was invited to grace the event.
    a. There was no holding room for the Sultanah and VIPs accompanying her.
    b. The Sultanah was invited on stage without anyone accompanying her there (a big NO NO if anyone knows protocol involving royalty).
    c. The event dragged on till 11.30pm, way past the cut off point of the very many events I've attended with members of the royal family present.
   d. The Sultanah was forced to walk all t…

Klang run 'illegal', says Sports Commissioner

UPDATE (Dec 11; 11.58am): Sporting events approved by Sports Commissioner's Office will be posted on the Youth and Sports Ministry's website starting Dec 14, as revealed by the Sports Commissioner in her statement today. I'm glad the last point of my observation (as per posting right below) has been addressed.


UPDATE (10.57pm): A Twitter user had sent me a link by the organiser of the Klang Heritage Marathon 2017. It states that the marathon has been "postponed to Oct 14, 2018" and that they have been victims of fake news and will lodge reports with the authorities against materials with elements of defamation or fake news. Read the full statement, posted on Dec 2, here.


A Klang City International Marathon 2017 pacer suffered serious injuries after she and two others were hit by a car

Turns out that the organiser of this morning's event, Earth Runners International Group Sdn Bhd, DID NOT submit any application to the Sports Commissioner&#…