Singapore may be the new operational base, says Gunalan


  • Other Sport
  • Wednesday, 22 Oct 2003

BY LIM TEIK HUAT

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore may soon become the new operational base for the International Badminton Federation (IBF). 

The Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) will be making a proposal to move the current IBF headquarters from Cheltenham to Singapore in a bid to reduce operational costs. 

The ABC’s secretary general, Datuk Punch Gunalan, who is also the IBF vice-president, said that Singapore had made a very generous offer to provide rent-free premises for a new IBF office. 

This was made during the ABC’s annual general meeting in Jakarta last Sunday and Singapore also agreed to offer a tax-free incentive on all IBF incomes. 

“We have been considering moving the IBF office to another place to reduce expenses.  

“A shift to Singapore means a savings of US$140,00 annually in rental alone,” said Gunalan. 

He added that the IBF were saddled with an annual operational cost of almost US$800,000 and with a headquarters in Singapore, the money saved could be channelled to development of the sport in all continents. 

“We get US$1 million a year from the International Olympic Council (IOC) but the bulk of the money is used to offset the operational costs,” said Gunalan. 

“If we can increase our income and reduce our expenditure at the same time, the IBF can hand out more money to their members to carry out development programmes.” 

The ABC members at their meting have agreed to put forward the proposal at the next IBF Council meeting on Dec 20. 

The IBF members will then vote on the recommendations during their annual general meeting, which will be held during the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Jakarta in May next year. 

“The Asian members are making the proposal and we are confident of getting the support from member countries in Africa and Pan-America,” said Gunalan. 

The ABC will also make a proposal to limit all IBF office bearers to a four-year term with a maximum of two terms. Currently, only the IBF president’s post falls under this limitation. 

Meanwhile, the ABC have a new president to replace Japanese Mamoru Otake, who is retiring from office. He is the Korea BA president, Kang Young-joon. 

Young-joon, a very successful businessman in South Korea, said that he hoped to bring forward a more professional and dynamic set-up to the sport in Asia. 

“Badminton in Asia has a big following and is very successful. I hope to keep the support going.  

“My other objective is to promote the development of badminton in Asia. I want to get more young children to be interested in the game,” he said. 

Young-joon added that he may be new to ABC members but he was taking it as a challenge to learn as much as he could in a short time possible. 

For a start, he is already planning to appoint a full-time general manager for the ABC. 

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