It doesn't pay to be good

It was a long day for Karamjit Singh.


The former world champion rally driver was involved in a television commercial for a Japanese car maker throughout yesterday but we managed to catch up later at night.

"I'm still finding it tough finding sponsors bro," were his first words.

"It's frustrating as I'm still racing and producing results."

At the age of 50, Karamjit is still negotiating obstacles and corners like no other. He currently leads the 2012 FIA APRC Rally Cup - Drivers 2wd with the final leg set in China later next month.

However, it is indeed baffling that the first Asian driver to ever win the FIA Production Car World Champinship for Drivers is still struggling to make ends meet.

Better known as the Flying Sikh, Karamjit was forced to even close his workshop last year as he had no time to attend to the shop due to his tight racing schedule.

It is amazing that Karamjit has been suffering financial woes since 2005. I had, together with former colleague Ghaz Ramli, ran a series of articles in The Malay Mail the same year to get someone to sponsor Karamjit.

Karamjit's predicament made headlines that it even caught the attention of former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi who was quoted by the Press saying; "If Karamjit is a Malaysian and has been producing results and bringing honour to the country, why has support not been accorded to him?"

Sadly, nothing ever happened.

"I'm still paying my debts bro. But it's the passion that keeps me going," he added.

There are some who claim Karamjit is somewhat 'fussy' - just like how he believes there is no other rally car in the world better than the Mitsubishi Evo. I remember us bantering about the battle between Evo and Subaru Impreza WRX when we were at the launch of the Asian Rally Championship in Johor Baru last year.

Nevertheless, it remains clear that Karamjit is good at what he does. And he should be judged for his past and current achievements. If a well decorated man like Karamjit is struggling, what more the newbies in the rally scene.

Sadly, this will be another posting where people will read and quickly forget the next day. Karamjit didn't rely on government funds when he started the sport. He made it on his own unlike most of our present set of national athletes.

Why bother molding champions when we don't value them?

And it certainly doesn't pay to be good now, does it?

HD says: Here's wishing Karamjit all the best in China.

Comments

  1. He is really a champion that have flown our flag proudly in international rallying and one that i am proud to be able to meet face to face with. Watching him rallying in Germany the year after his FIA win really made it still the most memorable sporting event that i have ever directly witness. I feel sad that there are still no adequate support directed towards his endeavors. I think Proton should just hired him for their SWRC campaign instead of wasting his talent in the 2wd category.

    Yan

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  2. he is like a legend in thailand. heard that from my uni mates

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