As published in Mailsport today
By Haresh Deol
|Loon Hong in this picture posted by a fan on Facebook.|
PETALING JAYA — It is a bleak Chinese New Year for the snooker fraternity after legendary billiards maestro Moh Loon Hong passed away yesterday.
Loon Hong suffered from cancer of the bladder and passed on at 4.33am at Unversiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). He was 63.
The Penangnite was a hit on the green carpet, having won two SEA Games gold medals in the 1991 Manila Games and 1995 Chiang Mai Games. He clinched the bronze at the 1993 Singapore Games.
Snooker runs in the blood of the family as his son Keen Ho also excelled in the sport, having won the Asian Junior Championship in 2003 and winning the SEA Games gold medal in Korat in 2007. His daughter Chaw Teng plays pool for the country.
Loon Hong was supposed to play alongside Keen Ho in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
“It’s a loss ... I’m lost for words,” said Keen Ho.
“His cancer spread quickly, from his bladder to his brain.”
“I will play for him ... show him my capabilities,” he said in reference to the regional games.
Malaysia Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) president Melvin Chia said Loon Hong was a household name.
“He was an all-rounder. While billiards was his specialty, he had no problems excelling in snooker and pool. The game was in his blood,” Melvin said.
“It’s of no surprise he has been a great influence to his children as they too are big names in the scene.”
Chia described Loon Hong’s demise as a loss for he was to represent the nation at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur
“At 63 and still representing the country, that says a lot. We haven’t thought about who will best replace him at the Games. Let’s give the family their time to grieve and we will discuss this later.”
Loon Hong had last month complained he was unwell and was referred to the National Sports Institute. The institute then referred him to UMMC where he underwent tests and a surgery.
It was later found he had cancer and was supposed to undergo another operation next Thursday.
Loon Hong’s remains were sent to Mount Erskine in Penang and he will be cremated at Batu Gantung tomorrow.