The game of squash has brought recognition to Southeast Asian countries. In the 1970s and 1980s, Singapore was a very strong squash nation coming in only behind mighty Pakistan in Asia. From the mid-1990s to the present, Malaysia has been among the dominant force in Asian squash both in the men’s and women’s categories. Dato'Nicol David of Malaysia ruled as the World's No.1 women's player for 8 consecutive years. Among men, Ong Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan Iskander (both Malaysians) made their mark among the World's top 10 male players in the 2000s.
Unfortunately, the game of squash is not a permanent sport in the SEA Games. Squash was left out of three consecutive SEA Games in 2009 (Vientiane, Laos), 2011 (Palembang, Indonesia), and 2013 (Naypyidaw, Myanmar). This was a great disappointment to the squash fraternity in South East Asia. The National Squash Federations of four South East Asian countries namely, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia met in Kuala Lumpur on 23rd August 2014, at the NU Sentral Mall, Kuala Lumpur, to look into the dire position that squash found itself concerning the SEA Games. At the suggestion of Malaysia, a decision was made to form an active Sub-Regional Squash Federation which the SEA Games Council would take cognizance of the A-Pro team Committee was formed towards the formation of the Southeast Asian Squash Federation (SEASF) with Mr. Robert Lau Hui Yew of Malaysia as the Pro-tem President. He was then also the Deputy President of the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia. The four countries that attended this meeting were recognized as the Founding Nations of SEASF namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore.
At the inaugural AGM of SEASF on 15th March 2015, in Singapore, Mr. Robert Lau Hui Yew, the Pro-tem President of SEASF, stepped up to the helm and guided SEASF in its infancy as its founding President. The six countries at the inaugural meeting were namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. These six countries are recognized as the Original Members of SEASF. Brunei came on board SEASF at the 2018 SEASF AGM in Bandung, Indonesia. At the 2020 SEASF, AGM held in Bangkok, Thailand, we had Laos joining SEASF as an Associate Member pending full membership. SEASF continues to pursue to bring onboard the remaining three countries of South East Asia, namely Vietnam, Cambodia, and Timor Leste.
SEASF is happy and proud that since its formation in 2014, squash has made a comeback to be on the SEA Games program. Squash featured at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore and again in the 2017 and 2019 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and Manila respectively. However, at the 2021 SEA Games (held in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) in Hanoi, Vietnam, squash was again left out mainly because of the absence of a Squash National Federation in Vietnam.
SEASF has grown to be a very viable Federation and is now an official Sub-Regional Federation within the Asian Squash Federation and by extension recognized by the World Squash Federation. It has a list of activities on its calendar including running tournaments, coaching and refereeing courses, junior programs, etc. SEASF's main event for the year is the annual mixed-team championship among Member countries called the SEA Cup Squash Championship. The first SEA Cup Squash Championship was held in Singapore, at the Island & Country Club, from 12 – 14 March 2022. The SEA Cup has since been an annual affair and the 6th Edition of the Championship was held in 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. Unfortunately due to the Covid pandemic, the 2021 Championship which was scheduled to be held in Brunei was canceled.
After five years (2014 – 2019) of leading and placing SEASF on a strong footing, Mr.Robert Lau Hui Yew, stepped down as SEASF’s President at the 2019 SEASF AGM in Manila, Philippines. At the 2019 AGM the two candidates for the position of President came to an amicable agreement and Mr. Mohamad Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia, a former World Top 10 Player, was declared as the new President of SEASF for the term 2019 - 2021. However, during his term as President, the Covid pandemic hampered his plans for the Federation. With a young family and work commitments, Mr.Azlan did not seek re-election at the 2021 SEASF AGM. Mr. Robert Bachmann of the Philippines with the confidence of all the Member Federations was unchallenged and was declared the President for the term 2021 – 2023 in a virtually held AGM of 2021.