24 March, 2019: A split second was all it took to turn Shaaban Hussain’s life upside down.
Shaaban’s promising golf career was immediately shattered the moment he was thrown onto the road shoulder of a highway in Malaysia in the early morning of March 31, 2016.
That horrific motorcycle accident nearly left him for the dead. His left foot was so badly crushed and had to be amputated from the knee down.
All his dreams were also broken just like his left arm.
The months that followed left Shaaban having to deal with a myriad of emotions that included wanting to end his life.
Fast forward three years later, I caught up with Shaaban at the Maybank Championship and he is literally back on his feet again.
An inspiring figure, the 2001 SEA Games Gold Medalist and Malaysia’s number one amateur in 2001 and 2002, felt right back at home at the Saujana Golf and Country Club, in the company of good friends, ‘just playing in the tournament and waiting to tee off’.
He said: “I am really happy to see my old friends out again this week. My old pals like Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung are very happy to see me too.
“Yesterday I met Prayad Marksaeng and Prom Meesawat and some other players from Chinese Taipei. They were very encouraging and I felt confident again after speaking to them.”
Adversity might have set him back momentary but courage has restored his ability to find new meaning in his life again.
Fitted with a prosthetic leg now, he is also a golf coach to juniors who attend his training classes which start from 8.30am till 6.30pm.
“I try not to put myself down despite what has happened to me. At least I still have something to do now. I still can help in the development of golf.
“I want to see the juniors improve and make Malaysia proud. I have played enough tournaments to share with them my life experiences.
‘Never give up’ is what I always tell my juniors. That’s my motto in life.’
I’m glad I got the chance to catch up with this gentleman who has defied all odds to become a truly inspirational figure today.
By Calvin Koh, Head of Press Operations and Media Partnerships at the Asian Tour.