MELAKA, Nov 29 — The last advice and words of encouragement conveyed by the late Datuk Abu Samah Abd Wahab will serve as a motivation for the national road cycling team, especially national champion, Nur Aisyah Mohamad Zubir, who has made history as the country’s first female road cyclist to be participating in the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

National cycling squad head coach, Mohd Yusof Nasir said the words of advice and encouragement by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) president were expressed when he brought Nur Aisyah to meet Abu Samah in the hospital yesterday.

“I was worried when meeting him because I was afraid he wouldn’t remember, but Alhamdulillah, he remembered, and the situation at that time was quite sad.

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“He gave a lot of advice, and among the ones I remember, Abu Samah wanted Nur Aisyah to do her best because this is a unique opportunity that we don’t know when we’ll have again. So, this is an opportunity for Nur Aisyah and Malaysia to shine in the Olympics,” he said when met after the funeral for Abu Samah at the Kampung Semabok Islamic Cemetery here today.

He also said that Abu Samah had also advised that the National Road Cycling Championship, which will be held next year to be organised in Selangor, and he asked him to take care of the Malaysian road cycling team that will compete in the Tour de Langkawi next year well.

Meanwhile, MNCF vice president Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill said the passing of Abu Samah was a great loss to the national road cycling fraternity.

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He said Abu Samah was the president of a sports body for the longest time and undoubtedly a lot of energy, time, and money were invested in the development of national cycling sport.

The last time I met him was on Friday at his home. Even in a weakened state, he was still enthusiastic about discussing bicycles, teams, and work.

“This was his character, and his death surprised many who knew him. I received calls and messages from around the world about this news, and it shows that he was a cycling sports leader not only in Malaysia but also in Asia and internationally,” he said.

Abu Samah, 82, who died at Mahkota Melaka Hospital at 7 pm yesterday, was buried at the Kampung Semabok Islamic Cemetery here at 11.30am today, in the presence of more than 800 comrades, cycling athletes, and villagers who accompanied the hearse from his home to the cemetery.

He had stage four prostate cancer for a year, and his health began to deteriorate two weeks ago before being admitted to the hospital last Sunday due to loss of appetite.

He leaves behind his wife, Datin Halimah Ali, 82, seven children, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Abu Samah’s reputation in cycling is highly regarded at various levels, including holding the position of MNCF president since 1990 and making history in the national sports arena by receiving the Asean Cycling Federation (ACF) Merit Award last May.

This success made him the first sports figure in the country to receive the Merit Award from the world governing body — the International Cycling Union (UCI); continent — Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC), and regional — ACF. — Bernama