PETALING JAYA: The action taken by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) against Lee Zii Jia and Goh Jin Wei is excessive, says MCA Youth vice-chairperson Chua Hock Kuan.
He added that BAM and the affected badminton players must sit down and reach a rational solution calmly, or Malaysia will end up on the losing side of it all.
Chua called for a win-win situation for both sides via a dialogue in the hopes of reaching a consensus while avoiding any escalation and further aspersions cast on the governing body.
“The aim of any negotiation would be to achieve a win-win outcome that maximises the interests of Lee Zii Jia, Goh Jin Wei and the country.
“Both players were trained in Malaysia for many years, as such it is not right for BAM to deprive both from competing in international competitions for two years,” he said in a statement, adding that it could jeopardize the future development of the two players.
Chua also said BAM action has affected the country’s image and could lead to frustration of morale for the remaining players.
Citing the experience from the Youth and Sports Ministry, Chua said discipline was the most important component for any athlete, and as such, if Zii Jia and Jin Wei possess discipline, and want to be self-funded professionals, they should be allowed to represent the country.
“The lifespan of an athlete is very important and precious too. Other world champions like Viktor Axelsen or Kento Momota are already 28 and 27 years old respectively.
“Meanwhile Zii Jia is 23 years old and has only a few years to reach his peak. Prohibiting him for two years is like killing his career in sports and his development as a full-time sportsperson,” he said.