tournament from 1972 to 1988, a period during which Selangor FA won the Malaysia
Cup eight times.
R. Arumugam earned his first call up to the Malaysia national football team in 1973 for the World Cup qualifying round matches in Seoul, South Korea. During his time with the national team, he helped Malaysia win Merdeka Tournament in 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1979. He also represented Malaysia in the 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1985 Sea Games. His greatest achievement with the national team was the football bronze medal of the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran. He also helped Malaysia to qualify for the 1980 Moscow Olympics Games but Malaysia decided to boycott the Games. R. Arumugam has earned 196 caps(not all A class international matches) for Malaysia during his time with the national team since 1973 when he retired from international football in 1986. His personal goal was to earn 200 caps.
R.Arumugam did more than play the game. In 1983, he formed his own club, Starbrite SC, as part of his personal contribution to the youngsters in his housing area.
He was killed in a car accident at Federal Highway near Petaling Jaya on 18 December 1988. He is survived by wife Maria Selvie, and two daughters,Subha Arumugam and Rubha Arumugam .
In recognition of his services to both state and nation, the Football Association of Selangor and Public Bank where Arumugam was employed started a trust fund in the name of R. Arumugam on January 5, 1989. He was awarded Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) which carried title "Datuk" by Yang Dipertuan Agong on 4 June 2011.