Kesang Tua, where we grew up, is merely a typical Malay kampung which sees and experiences minimal impact of urbanization and economic opportunities. Life would go on day by day without any unusual happenings around until suddenly a pinhead dropped that put Kesang Tua on the world map through an unprecedented triumph of Hidilyn Diaz, a Filipino weightlifter who secure a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Melaka state as where it is located, itself is a historical state with abundance of historical sites back to the days of Portugal, Dutch and British colonializations. The Melaka Sultanate also posed a reign of excellence in trade and Islamic religious centre for the entire archipelago.
Kesang Tua offers no mystical charms or any magical spell that fills the air around that became the main ingredient of Diaz’s success. Her victory denotes courage, guts and perseverance to give her all for her country despite being trained in a Malay kampung where facilities are scarce so are the city social life which she may enjoy if she would have been in Kuala Lumpur.
Through the efforts of Ahmad Janius and his wife Rafidah, the youngest of our siblings, Hidilyn was ferried to Kesang Tua since February 2020 to fill her strict training schedule for the prestigious Olympic Games. Though minimal training facilities, the team has to make the best of what our kampung residence had to offer; basic ‘training garage’ and a place to stay.
Maybe COVID19 was fated to put her in this situation, but her spirit and determination exceeds all obstacles that she has to face. Given all these, she quenched a 97-year Philippines thirst for gold medal in the Olympics.
Kesang Tua is our birthplace and will always be nostalgic to us as it is where we saw our parents, Cikgu “Mat Long” and Hajah Rahmah toiled their blood, sweat and tears to raise us up, received our spouses, grieved for lost lives and learnt to lead our youthful life through thick and thin.
For Hidilyn however, Kesang Tua will prevail as a reminiscence of the beginning of her journey to achieve a beacon in her life.
Kudos to Hidilyn Diaz from the family of Cikgu “Mat Long” and Hajah Rahmah and may you reach further heights in what you do best.
Hidilyn’s success is a classic lesson to be learnt by all our athletes; courage, confidence, perseverance, disipline and team spirit surmount all obstacles.