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  • Writer's pictureDan Koh

mr yap


although he was in his early 90s, it still feels like a loss to lose Mr Yap Boon Chuan — SG's historic national football coach (1966–1971), long-time PE teacher, and such a kind, gentle, and self-sacrifical man — who passed away on sunday night.

Zakaria Zainal and i interviewed him in 2012 for our chapbook 'Gila Bola', and revisiting his words earlier today still brought me a lot of strength. the passing of a generation, who, yes, are "pioneers", but would hate to be called that, would hate the attention and all that propagandistic fuss, is, of course, inevitable, but still to be mourned, i think. it's the eclipse of a more serious, more sustainable age of Singapore, where some individuals served and gave back, then faded by choice into the shadows because they had done their job. i visited him again in 2018, and despite his illnesses he was still a true gentleman — some things one never forgets.

thank you, Mr Yap, for all your service, and thanks Pa for introducing me to a bit of your world in the first place. vale Papa Yap; my deep condolences to his family and friends.

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