PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have increased the players’ allowances in a bid to get them to stay in the national team.
This comes about following criticism from shuttlers like the Ng sisters – women’s doubles players Hui Lin and Hui Ern – last December. Both Hui Lin and Hui Ern have since quit the team. Two-time women’s singles national champion Yang Li Lian was the latest to quit the squad, handing in her resignation last month to concentrate on her studies.
BAM president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff said after an exco meeting on Wednesday that there was a need to take care of the players.
“A player’s lifespan is only about 14 years and we have a responsibility to take care of those who have committed themselves to the country,” said Tengku Mahaleel.
“As such, we will increase the players’ allowances from those at the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) to the senior elite players.
“It is a 50-100% increment, backdated to Jan 1 this year. It doesn’t include the prize money they take home from competitions.
“Our finance committee approved the new allowances and I presented it to the exco in today’s meeting. I’m very happy to say that it was a unanimous decision in approving this new scheme.
“Of course, we will also try to be fair and considerate to those who are injured or those who are going through a change in partnerships. We will allow them a period of time to get back to their best. During that period, there will be no cut in their allowances.”
Tengku Mahaleel also said there would be a long-term plan to help shuttlers who are at the end of their careers.
“We want to be fair to the players and not ditch them when they can’t perform. One such way is to reassign them as sparring partners for the states or clubs or help them get a career in sports science, focusing on badminton. We will also decide on that later on and it will be technical director Morten Frost’s decision when he takes over (in March),” added Tengku Mahaleel.
Meanwhile, Tengku Mahaleel also revealed that the BAM have roped in Penang coach Deng Lei to spearhead the BJSS junior programme.
He will replace He Guo Quan, who will return to being a coach in the senior set-up.