Thursday, December 4, 2008


When I read that HRH Sultan of Selangor, was giving out 30 Datukships instead of the 40 intended, and only to deserving Selangor citizens who excelled, my hopes were raised that finally this Malaysian Hero, KARAMJIT SINGH @ The Flying Sikh would be in the list. I fervently hope so. He has definitely done more to put the country on the world map, in a dangersous sport and not dancing around some resort in Malacca. This reflects of course on the donor state. The Sultan of Selangor is known for his perspicacity when it comes to the bestowing of awards to recognise his subjects.


Achievement and career highlights:

  • Nine (9) times Malaysian National Champion Asia Pacific Rally Champion 2004
  • World Champion (PWRC) 2002 Asia Pacific Rally Champion 2002
  • Asia Pacific Rally Champion 2001 Asia Pacific Rally Champion 2000
  • Champion Merdeka Endurance Race 2000 Thailand National Rally Champion 1998
  • Asia Pacific Production Rally Champion 1997 2002 NST-SPORTS TOTO Man of the Year
  • 2002 Malaysian Sikhs Association Man of the Year 2002 MSN National Sportsman of the Year
  • 2002/03/04 Malaysian Motor Sports Man of the Year Works driver – KST Ralliart China 2006-07
  • Conferred SIS title by HRH Sultan of Selangor in 2003 Winner – Rally Malaysia 2006
  • Conferred AMN title by HRH King of Malaysia in 2003

Karamjit Singh is the Asia Pacific regions’ most successful rally motorsport driver ever. He has won multiple championships throughout the region and has been ranked number one in the region.

Karamjit is also among Malaysia’s top sportsmen and Malaysian Sportsman of the year in 2002. The super fast and talented Karamjit also became World Champion in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship that year.

He was the first Asian to ever become world champion in a motorsports world championship series. Karamjit Singh is also a multiple Malaysian and Asia-

Pacific champion, driving for Team PETRONAS - PROTON. The global success of Karamjit Singh has endeared him to the Malaysian public. His every campaign

is carefully followed by various media in Malaysia. He has developed intoMalaysia’s true blue hero and role model.

Karamjit Singh is Malaysia’s best and undisputed Number One rally motorsport driver and one of the country’s top sportsmen. His mental strength, agility and driving skills have resulted in countless wins in the high speed sport of motor rallying.

Karam made his rally debut in 1986 in the Castrol Daylight Rally, thereafter spending the first two years of his remarkable career competing and winning local rallies as a privateer. Karamjit then later joined the Petronas Eon Racing Team (PERT), a super successful partnership which through the years has propelled him to achieve extraordinary feats in motorsports.

His best performance to date came in 2002, when he achieved the rare and historic feat of winning both the World Production Car Rally Championship and Asia Pacific Championship title in the same year, a feat never before achieved and not yet matched to date. He is the only driver ever to collect two prizes for two different FIA championships at the FIA awards gala in Monaco.

His dedicated approach and rigidly religious focus on his driving has earned him the respect of the global motorsports fraternity. The unassuming, disciplined and always devoted Karamjit Singh, whose other passion is golf, is always feverishly challenging himself to outdo his last milestone with the ultimate goal of pitting his skills and winning against the world’s best, the attribute of a true professional world class sportsman.

Karamjit Singh is the 2007 Malaysian National Champion and currently competing in the 2008 Malaysian National Rally Championship, leading the championship outright, with two rounds completed. He intends to return to the WRC and APRC in 2009, sponsorship funds permitting.

Recently a Malaysian company Fusion Excel International donated RM20,000 towards this.

But it has never been roses all the way. Trouble in the form of lack of sponsors reared its ugly head in 2005.

Karamjit shipped his Proton PERT to New Caledonia in hopes of competing in the rally but was forced to pull out last minute because he could not secure enough sponsors for the event. Even the FIA was understanding in this matter, because they knew Karamjit’s team was facing financial difficulties, they had subsidised the participation fees for the rally. After all, last year’s defending champion had to defend his title right? That was what FIA was thinking. But Karamjit was still short of cash for mechanics and tyres.

Karamjit will not be participating in the current round, Round 3, which is in Rotorua, New Zealand on the 17th and 19th. Round 4 would be in Hokkaido Japan. But guess where is Round 5’s venue? No where else but MALAYSIA! (19-21 August 2005) It would be a shame to see that our own Flying Sikh (Karamjit’s nickname) cannot even compete in his home grounds because he could not secure sponsorship!

It’s not just about defending the APRC title. Even his career is in jeopardy now. FIA APRC’s rules state that he has to finish 6 out of the 8 races, otherwise he could be fined up to USD3000 per race. Last year he got first place for 4 out of the 6 rounds. This time, he can’t even participate in the 6 rounds. He has only been able to get enough money to run 3 rounds this year so far. In addition to the fear of the USD9000 fine (3 remaining races), the FIA could suspend his license. They can suspend my licence. If I am under suspension, how am I going to earn a living?” said Karamjit.

Karamjit has already had offers from two foreign manufacturer teams for him to drive for them. He is seriously considering the options now since his own country seems uninterested in the fact that he has made Malaysia proud in the international rally circles. Initial discussions with them have already begun.

My first choice will be to continue driving for a Malaysian-backed team. That was the reason for staying with the Petronas Eon Racing Team (PERT) for the last 17 years. But the team will cease operations at the end of the year. Getting sponsors have been the big problem. If there is sponsorship overseas, why should I discard the opportunity?” said Karamjit in an article in The Star.

Karamjit, besides Nicole David, is the only other really good world champion we have. Please don’t force him to look overseas and make some other country/car manufacturer proud instead of our country. REMEMBER VIJAY SINGH WHO DETHRONED TIGER WOODS? Don’t kill him (Karamjit)off.

Karamjit had actually been contemplating to race for an overseas-based factory team in 2005 but he did not, for reasons which I will assume to be patriotism. Bad decision?


Pat said...

Hey Zorro,

I have followed Karamjit's successes for a bit - eventhough I am not really a fan of racing; just a fan of Malaysia doing some of the 'boleh' we keep shouting about.

So, yes, I agree he and Nicol David are precious gems, who should be honoured by our country.

If there was a vote, I'd give my vote for this guy. I salute the way he defied the odds stacked against him, and emerged champ.

The least we can do is give him the recognition he so richly deserves.


suki said...

It is a pity that sports are also along racial divide lines otherwise bet you petronas would have been his main sponsor,so much for the bolih spirit.Anyway master this is indeed a refreshing article and hope things will turn out better for Karamjit.

CK said...

now only i know his contributions, pardon my ignorance.

with tat, i agreed tat he's definitely on-par with Nicol David. no sponsorship? wat the government is doing? or petronas for tat matter?

Argus Eye said...

The media prefers glorifying characters like Fairuz, compared to the Flying Sikh.

Fairuz may be a good racer(not too sure about that), but surely no where on par with Karamjit.

Argus Eye said...

oh by the way, i was talking about Mohd Fairuz. Not to be confused with our legendary Ahmad Fairuz.

Birds Talking Too said...

I remember this guy! Yah, he is the 'flying Sikh' Met him around 1986 during the "Lucky Strike"
sponsored Malaysian Rally.
He has really done us proud!
Come on Malaysia, this is a deserving chap!

Cheers and regards
Birds Talking


he deserve the Datukship!

toyolbuster said...

Perhaps Karamjit should consult the Mat Rempits how they manage to secure fat sponsorship to parachute their kapchais down onto the North Pole.

Donplaypuks® said...

Truth be told, the Datukship has been cheapened and so Karamjit NOT getting one is no big deal.

It is also a fact that Mahathirism has resulted in quicker recognition of the Bumiputras' achievements than that of the non-Bumi.

In any event we must not be seen begging for recognition or demanding for one. This is not like the Nobel Prize or a knighthood from the Q of E.

Watch and wait patiently and see. The persistent Karamjit, like Nicol David, will reap manifold the just and deserved rewards of a long, dedicated and successful carrer.

We do not need handouts from a facist, racist and corrupt administration where datukships are thrown about like confetti at weddings to brown-tongued civil servants and party sycophants!! I hear you can even buy one!!

zorro said...

Shank, I was't refering to any honorifics....just recognition and support for this expensive sport. A humble man like Karam towers over a mere datukship.

Anonymous said...

no need datukship-lah. He is worth more than the "coveted" title! Is it still considered "coveted"? To me, all datukships have gone down the drain long time ago. He should be knighted by QE instead. I truly and honestly support that!

Unknown said...

As usual the talented are not rewarded in this country. The junk and criminal from Indonesia or southern Philippine have better treatment than a patriotic Malaysian.

You race will still matter! Sad isn't it?

Shiok Guy

Anonymous said...'s time Karamjit being recognised and be given the appropriate title.he had done so much to promote Malaysia in the eyes of the world with his skill in rally racing.but up until today he seems to be the "unsung hero" even to his own country,Malaysia.

this man deserved to be honoured along with Datuk Nicol rather than the Bollywood guy that goes by the name Shah Rukh Khan.Karamjit achievement by far is excellent and outstanding.

standing ovation for Karamjit!.

Anonymous said...

Argus eye, single-seater racing is bigger in motorsport terms than rallying. It is a different ball game.
Fairuz's family supported his whole career and if you know anything about motorsport, you will know how difficult it is to get into F1.
Karam was World PRODUCTION Car Rally champion in 2002, not World Rally Champion.
Karam and the now defunct PERT team took it on when the series was at its infancy and four cars contested the full championship, while the rest of the field was made up of privateer wildcards at different World Rally Championship legs. And don't tell us that Proton, Tourism Malaysia and MAS didn't support him then.
Due to the development of that programme, Karam is still the only Malaysian rally driver that got the chance to be trained at a rally school in Europe. How many young Malaysians had that opportunity? None, I guess. But you fail to ask these questions.
No disrespect to Karam but if you look into the details of his career and the support that he got in his prime, including from the media, he was by no means short of it.
He had a good 20 years at the top, as the icon of Malaysian rallying, but look at Malaysian rallying now.
Where are the new stars? None of them get much support. Who do you blame?
Malaysian Rally Championship this year comprised about on average 20 cars in total, with Karam running one of six 4WD Turbos that contested regularly, while the rest were Protons or smaller cars.
Is it okay to ask questions about the sport? Is there quality? Or do we keep on banging on the same old man until the end of the world?
We must think more critically. Look at what is happening and give credit when it is due. Karam cannot say he didn't receive it. If he needs a Datukship, give it to him.
But it would be sad if a sport depended solely on one man forever.

Shanghai Fish said...

right on, bro ! this guy has really done more then those goons-in-suits in our august house who have only brought shame to Malaysia with their foul mutterings and filthy and sexist manuouvers against all womenfolk in the country.

He truly deserves it and moreover he does look a bit like my favorite idol Freedie Mercury !So why not !

Unknown said...

dah tiba masanya kita mengiktiraf rakyat Malaysia yang telah mengharumkan nama negara untuk dihargai.nama seperti Karamjit Singh seolah-olah tercicir dari bibir rakyat pun masih kurang lagi menolong menaikkan nama beliau.

Karamjit harus dihargai.dia telah berkecimpung dalam dunia rally sejak 80an lagi dan telah menang banyak kali.tak perlulah kita tunggu bila Karamjit dah tak mampu untuk meneruskan karier rallynya lagi barulah penghargaan hendak diberi.berilah penghargaan selagi dia masih mampu untuk berlumba demi negara agar boleh penghargaan tersebut menjadi dorongan kepadanya.

Anonymous said...

No real need for a Datukship.

Just chuck a stone into the crowd and chances are, it will land on a Datuk.

But then, if he were to actually receive a Datukship, the brick brats will be singing a different tune, running him down.

Both ways you lose.

But his headstone should be engraved 'The Silent Achiever'.


zorro said...

Arnaz...that was good info you contributed. My question: we had a champion! Why was not a concerted effort made to use him to promote the sport amongst the young. Can we use the excuse that it is a different ball game from one-seater. A sport is a sport. What we want is a recognised champion. We got one. The press gave him coverage...reported about his achievements....but does sports journalism stop there - just reporting. Did the press ask WNY, WHY, WHY didn't we nurture this sports and allow it to deteriorate into a few cars affair. Why did PERT go defunct? Why arent sponsors coming out? ...and the sports minister wants to take the F1 to different states. Dang, did I hear right and the press didn't give her a good public spanking? Time for me to buy you a beer. Come fish lah.

Anonymous said...

he has sacrificed enough for being loyal. time for him to move on coz this govt will never appreciate his contribution.
move on karamjit. may be down south will be a good option. there, at least, recognition is given regardless of creed or race. you perform, you be rewarded.
best wishes, karamjit.