PETALING JAYA: The Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) feel that it is unfair for the National Sports Council (NSC) to withdraw the training budget for their preparations towards the Vietnam SEA Games.
Nevertheless, TTAM will get their own funding and are still hopeful of being included for the Games in December.
On Friday, in a joint meeting between the Olympic Council Malaysia (OCM) and NSC, it was decided that table tennis and 12 other sport would not be given funds for their Games preparations.
Yesterday, the TTAM national team manager and assistant secretary Han Kee Juan said that table tennis deserved to be funded by the NSC under the 2006 training programme for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and also the Vietnam Games.
“It is not whether we get in or not but we feel that the reason for us not being included is not justified. After all, we are one of the sports that have been winning medals in every SEA Games. Last year, we won three bronze medals. Our main rival at SEA Games level is Singapore because they have the services of the China players,” he said.
In the Manchester Commonwealth Games, the women's team finished fifth overall. The women's doubles and women's team also reached the quarter-finals.
“In Manchester we did better than some of the other sports. Women's hockey for instance is included under the NSC's 2006 programme but they did not do well at the Manchester,” he said.
Kee Juan said they would make an appeal to NSC but regardless of the outcome, the TTAM would carry out their activities with their own fund.
“We have identified five men and five women for training. We also have about 35 Under-17 players at various regional centres.
“We are still hopeful of qualifying for the SEA Games and we will continue our efforts to improve our standard in the sport,” he added.
Besides the SEA Games, the national team will be taking part in the Asian Championships in Bangkok next month and the World Championships (for individuals) in Paris in May and the Malaysian Open in Johor Baru the following month.