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Englishman honoured for contributions to UK-Malaysia ties

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian British Society president Chris Syer has been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to United Kingdom-Malaysia relations.

This was announced in the recent New Year’s Honours List, according to a statement from the British High Commission in Malaysia here on Tuesday (Jan 4).

Syer, 81, was born in England but has called Malaysia home for the last six decades.

The statement noted that he was extremely honoured to be given the award and felt very humble and flattered to have been complimented in such a way.

“I am extremely honoured to be given this award and hope that the already strong relationship between our two countries will continue to grow and bind us together with the emphasis on the non-commercial aspects of life created through culture, art, music, sports,” he was quoted as saying.

Syer joined the Malaysian British Society in 1997 and was its president from 2018 until last year.

He has also been an active member of the British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and the English Speaking Union Malaysia.

In 1960, he was posted to Malaya as a young soldier and was among those who defended it against Communist insurgents during the Emergency.

An active sportsman, he captained the army and armed forces’ teams and played hockey for Selangor.

He also played cricket for Melaka and the South Malaya combined team.

In addition, Syer managed the Royal Selangor Golf Club and then the Malaysian Golf Tourism Association, and was also the cricket convenor for the Royal Selangor Club.

Through his sporting connections, Syer played a significant role in charity and voluntary work. He served in non-governmental organisations, including the Olympic Council of Malaysia and charity organisation Lord Taverners Malaysia Bhd.

The Englishman also did sports commentary for RTM’s Radio 4 (now Traxx FM), and was a sports analyst with BFM.

British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay, in congratulating Syer, said he was delighted to see him receive the well-deserved honour.

“Mr Syer is truly a living testament of how the people-to-people connection is at the heart of the longstanding UK-Malaysia relationship.

“So many of us have families and friends in both countries, along with business, education and defence links, forming a strong affiliation between the UK and Malaysia,” he added.

Among the individuals receiving the award in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list include Covid-19 medical heroes, sports stars and outstanding volunteers.

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) recognises outstanding achievements or service to the community which have had a long-term significant impact. – Bernama

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