An Interview with Vice President Y.Bhg. Dato’ Md. Roshdi

datoroshdi_feature1Dato’ Md Roshdi is the Vice-President of the Royal Selangor Polo Club, a committee position he has held since 2006.  

Early Years
Dato Roshdi first started riding in the early Sixties, in his home town of Alor Setar while still in primary school, at the Kedah Gymkhana Club.   Studying in the United Kingdom he would go camping and riding in the country-sides of Cornwall, the Lake District in England and Ireland.

Dato’ Roshdi joined the Standard & Chartered Bank (SCB) in London after graduation and spent years in Europe, the first two years in London and the last year between Hamburg, Rotterdam, Zurich and Milan.
“While I was in London, I went on riding holidays as often as I could.  I rode all kinds of horses, from draught horses to Arabians.”

Posted back to Malaysia with SCB, his first posting was on the east coast, at Kota Bharu.  He started riding in K.B. and founded the Kelantan Riding Club, riding and sharing part of an old golf course (!), and going to the famed pony races at the beach with the kampong boys.

Dato’ Roshdi got to hear that the then Raja Muda of Terengganu and later the Sultan, Almarhum Sultan Mahmud, was playing polo at Batu Buruk in Kuala Terengganu.  Dato’ Roshdi’s interest in horses took him there, and it was in Terengganu that he first started playing polo.

In 1979 Dato’ Roshdi was transferred to Port Dickson.  As an ex-Royal Military College boy, Dato’ Roshdi was invited to ride at the Sungala Camp, where the Armoured Regiment had a stable of horses.  HRH Sultan of Pahang was then the Yang di Pertuan Agong, and Dato’ Roshdi played polo when His Majesty visited Port Dickson with his polo team.

“I also got to know HRH Tengku Mahkota Pahang and HRH Tengku Mahkota Johor now the Sultan of Johore when they came to Port Dickson with their teams to play there.”

Posted to SCB’s regional office in Petaling Jaya in 1982, Dato’ Roshdi joined the Selangor Polo & Riding Club, as our club was known at that time.

In 1988 Dato’ Roshdi was promoted to become regional manager of SCB’s northern region.  Based in Penang, Dato’ Roshdi started polo competitively.  Playing in Penang Polo Club teams with Dato’ Stephen Yeap, they would compete in Malayan Polo Association tournaments in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

A promotion to the Klang Valley regional manager in 1991 brought Dato’ Roshdi back to Kuala Lumpur and SP&RC.  Dato’ Roshdi played a lot of competitive polo and son Rizal also benefitted from play in Kuala Lumpur and became a fine player who quickly rose to a +1 goal handicap.

Dato’ Roshdi first joined the committee of the club in 1998.  Tengku Temengong of Perlis, Dato’ Syed Amir was the President at that time.  Dato’ Roshdi served in a number of capacities through the years, first as Stables Convenor, then as Hon Treasurer, Hon Secretary and when Dato’ Mohamed Moiz took over the presidency, Dato’ Roshdi took up the position of Vice President.

“I am a normal guy, not anyone special.  I love horses and enjoy the game.   I want to see the club as a place that can offer affordable polo.  That people can come to ride and start polo.

We must give others the opportunity to play polo.  The club should be a base for the average young professionals to take up the game.

It would be great if we had a polo school, where new players can get started.

The club is a great venue to learn polo.  It is located centrally in KL and the standard of polo in Malaysia is very good.