PETALING JAYA: Is Datuk Kenny Goh (pic) the right man to revive Malaysian badminton?
It’s a question that will be answered soon as Kenny officially begins his double duty today as the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary and chairman of the coaching and training committee (CNT) to arrest the decline.
Kenny was part of the existing set-up that failed to take the national team to greater heights, having last served as the general manager before joining the Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC) in 2015.
Former international Datuk James Selvaraj believes Kenny could be the man to right the wrong as he has returned to the national fold under a different capacity. James, however, said Kenny should have the courage to make a major revamp.
“Kenny has to make a lot of changes to undo what his predecessors had done. He has to be firm with the players and coaches, ” said James.
“We’ve not been progressing, and therefore a revamp has to take place for Malaysian badminton to move forward.
“Since he had accepted the offer to return to BAM, he has to prove himself and perform.
“Unlike before, he has the full authority. He reports to no one but the president.
“I’m not sure what fresh ideas he’s going to bring in, but I hope he hits the ground running from day one.”
With two major events – the Tokyo Olympics and Thomas Cup Finals – taking place next year, James reckons that Kenny must not overlook the short-term plans.
“I still believe we have a chance of winning medals in the men and mixed doubles at the Olympics, ” said James.
“We can’t rule out Lee Zii Jia.
“The boy has got the right physique and height, but not sure what’s holding him back.
“But for long-term plans, Kenny should target the 2024 Olympics, ” added James, who also wanted BAM to expand their talent search to rural areas.
Former doubles legend Datuk Razif Sidek believed BAM would benefit from having a full-time secretary and CNT chairman.
Previously, Datuk Ng Chin Chai, a lawyer by profession, was not working full-time with BAM.
“Kenny’s four-year working experience with the BAC will surely give him a different perspective to make the changes needed, ” said Razif.
“Firstly, he needs to strengthen the CNT and raise the standard of our players.
“Being a full-time worker, he can solve issues immediately, he will be more hands on.”