KUALA LUMPUR: A former champion should be appointed as the chairman of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM)’s coaching and training committee to save Malaysian badminton from a slump.
This is the earnest wish of old timer Datuk Tan Yee Khan.
The 73-year-old Yee Khan, a former All-England men’s doubles champion with Ng Boon Bee in 1965-1966, fears that Malaysian badminton will sink into oblivion once world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei retires and BAM need experienced and knowledgable people to revive the sport.
He hoped that when the BAM’s exco headed by Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh meet today, his plea to give calibre former players influential roles in coaching and training structures would be one of recommendations that they would take to heart.
The exco will also decide on a date for their election in July, whereby a new president and coaching and training committee chairman will be chosen.
Nadzmi is not seeking re-election while the current training committee chairman Ng Chin Chai said he would be giving up the post after three years following Malaysia’s dismal showing in the Sudirman Cup last month.
Malaysia lost to Taiwan and Germany and failed to make the top eight – despite having the home advantage in the world mixed team event.
Yee Khan hopes that Nadzmi would get one thing right before he leaves the BAM as the president after more than a decade – by giving the local ex-international shuttlers a break, and a mandate to turn things around for Malaysia.
“A former champion will be an ideal person to head the coaching and training committee on a full-time basis. And this person must be given the full authority and responsibilities to run the show,” said Yee Khan.
Yee Khan felt that the previous coaching and training committee had not addressed several issues.
“My heart aches when I look at the state of Malaysian badminton. I wonder what will happen when Chong Wei retires. I foresee a gloomy future if no measures are taken to improve the situation,” he said.
“Just look at Indonesia. Their coaching staff comprise former champions.
“Their consultants and advisers are former greats.
“And there is already transformation in the Indonesian team. Countries like Thailand and India are improving but we are not moving forward,” said Yee Khan.
“We have tolerated many coaches who like to be compromising. They give in to players’ demands and are unable to earn respect from their players. No wonder we are still way behind China, who give utmost priority to discipline in their training camp.
Yee Khan said that the BAM should stop giving excuses that they could not find suitable candidates among the locals.
“There are no perfect candidates. Please, I am tired of the national body giving excuses that there are no local former internationals who are good enough for the job.
“Former players are experienced and they can contribute.
“Give them a chance to prove themselves,” he said.
A few names have been tossed around like Cheah Soon Kit, Wong Choong Hann, Kwan Yoke Meng, Razif Sidek, Misbun Sidek and Datuk James Selvaraj but it seems that the BAM are not going to give them absolute authority to run the show.
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