KUALA LUMPUR: There has never been a dull moment since Ng Chin Chai became the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) coaching and training committee chairman just over a year ago.
So many controversies, upheavals and issues have cropped up since he spearheaded a major structural change in the coaching and training set-up, which came into effect last September.
But Chin Chai’s not about to let it all get to him.
In fact, Chin Chai, a lawyer by profession, plans to stand firm – especially when more difficult and tough decisions are expected to be made when the coaching and training committee meet on Thursday.
The hottest topic will be the fate of doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky.
Will Rexy still remain as an elite coach following the shocking, and unexpected, decisions made by two of his top pairs – Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari – after the recent World Champion-ships in Wembley?
Kien Keat-Boon Heong have made it clear to all and sundry that they do not want to train under Rexy and have requested to be put under the charge of women’s doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang. Zakry-Fairuzizuan, meanwhile, have left the national set-up to join professional outfit KLRC.
Prior to the problems in the men’s doubles department, Chin Chai had had to handle the resignation of men’s singles coach Misbun Sidek, which even led to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei threatening to walkout.
That’s not the end of it. Then came the committee’s decision regarding former players Tan Chun Seang and Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen, which did not go down well with the players.
Singles shuttler Chun Seang was banned from taking part in tournaments in Asia as punishment for walking out on the national team while Teik Chai-Bin Shen were angry with the BAM for dropping them from the world meet squad despite qualifying on merit.
The duo have since taken their case against BAM to the Olympic Council of Malaysia’s (OCM) alternate dispute resolution (ADR). The case is pending.
Chin Chai also had to deal with the constant tension between the committee and part-time high performance director Datuk James Selvaraj.
James had claimed that he had been kept in the dark about most of the decisions made by the committee.
“Yes, the last one year has been quite challenging but I do not look at it as an obstacle that prevents me from performing my duties. There have been quite a number of issues. I am disappointed that we did not win a title at the World Championships but I will continue with my mission – to help our shuttlers win an Olympic gold medal,” said Chin Chai, who is also the BAM secretary.
“All decisions made by the coaching and training committee were done with the nation’s interest at heart. It is our job to ensure that the coaches do their jobs as best they can while the players give their best in tournaments. Sometimes, we have to be firm – especially when we know that it will benefit the country.
“The changes we have made so far have presented our junior players with a lot of opportunities to play in overseas tournament. These young players also enjoy better perks now. We may not see immediate results from them. But give them another three years, we should see some results – especially if we maintain this structure.”
With Chin Chai steadfastly sticking to his principle, it will be intriguing to see what happens when the coaching and training committee meet on Thursday.