KUALA LUMPUR: Please be patient – that’s the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) message to the national shuttlers.
Deputy president Datuk Norza Zakaria on Monday assured that the situation at the national training centre would be improved and the BAM would look into the players’ welfare.
On Sunday, top women’s doubles shuttler Ng Hui Lin quit the national team in a huff over the BAM’s poor running of the sport in the country. The 25-year-old did not mince her words, blasting the BAM for poor planning and the officials’ lackadaisical attitude.
Norza admitted that the BAM were experiencing one of their lowest ebb but promised the situation would improve.
“It has not been a good year for us but we hope the players will stay patient and work together with us. We understand what Hui Lin had gone through, but just wish she had been more patient,” said Norza.
“We’re now working on Lee Chong Wei’s doping issue and we are trying our best to clear his name. And we also do not have any successors in men’s singles and we do not have any major titles to show from the men’s doubles department.
“The other countries like India and Thailand are doing much better than us now. We seriously need to resurrect our image in badminton if we do not want to be left behind.”
He said the BAM had engaged Morten Frost as their technical director and he hoped that all the loose ends as far as administration and planning would be tightened under the Dane’s guidance.
“We are aware of our shortcomings and have hired Morten. Hopefully, he can look into the players’ welfare and the coaches’ programmes. He will be given full authority to run the show. Right now, we are putting things in place ... we just hope every party will work together and stay patient.”
BAM’s council member Teoh Teng Chor said the BAM would have to re-invent themselves again.
“We have made many structural changes, but it is not working. We have to go back to basics.
Previously, we had the coaching and training committee headed by Ng Chin Chai. Then, the players knew which tournaments they were going and coaches were clear of what they were supposed to do,” said Teng Chor, who is the Kedah Badminton Association (KBA) president.
“Now we are the laughing stock of the world. We didn’t even have one qualifier for the recent BWF World Superseries Finals in Dubai. However, I am glad that the officials in charge are ready to put things back in order.
“All these will be raised and discussed during our council meeting on Jan 17 (during the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold in Kuching),” he added.
by Rajes Paul - The Star