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BAFFLING REAPPOINTMENT

“I would like to apologise to all Malaysians on behalf of BAM and the players. We have failed to achieve several targets on the international stage over the last three years and I am partly responsible for Malaysia’s failure”.

That was not the quote from BAM president Dato’ Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria, who chose to step down as the Chairman of the Coaching and Training Committee (CTC) earlier today.

The quote was actually from BAM secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai on May 23, 2013, shortly after Malaysia’s failure to make the quarter-finals of the Sudirman Cup, following shock defeats to Taiwan and Germany in the group stage.

Chin Chai has been reappointed as the Chairman of the CTC by Norza, who announced this at a press conference today.

BAFFLING. That can be the only word that can describe the decision.

Norza, who was elected as the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president recently, said that he was too busy with other duties and would not be able to deliver as expected.

Apart from Norza, the only other appointed member of the CTC, according to the BAM website, is Kedah BA president Dato’ Teoh Teng Chor.

Norza’s decision to relinquish the CTC chairmanships also comes at a time when there were numerous rumours going around that he would be stepping down as the BAM president to concentrate on his role as the OCM president.

That aside, Chin Chai’s reappointment to the position when he was also the BAM secretary, only shows that he too would be saddled with dual duties.

The CTC should be the backbone of the association and needs someone, who would be able to give it undivided attention. With countries like Japan, India, Thailand beginning to show more promise at the international level, the BAM needs fresh ideas and direction.

When Chin Chai was last entrusted with the task, his decisions did not go down well with national coach Misbun Sidek, who had openly criticised the CTC then.

Back then, it was widely reported that Chin Chai often superseded the coaches when it came to certain issues, especially in the selection process.

Misbun, after leaving the BAM set-up, is back as the national singles head coach and question of their working relationship would be put to test again.

It would have been more prudent if someone from outside the current BAM set-up were to have been appointed as the CTC Chairman.

BAM had in the past tried to co-opt former players into the committee, but it has not brought in the desired results.
With the Asian Games just a couple of months away, the BAM needs to reinvent itself. And the decision to appoint

Chin Chai in charge of the CTC again may or may not be the right way to go.

Former national player Ong Ewe Hock felt that it was time for someone from outside the system to be given a chance to change the flagging fortunes.

“This appointment is just like shifting things from left to right and when it does not work back from right to left. It is repeating the same thing over and over again,” said the former two-time Malaysia Open champion.

He added that while the CTC chairmanship was not a paid position, there are many eligible experts on the outside, who would be glad to help chart Malaysian badminton to better times.

“We need new ideas and new approach and it is not going to come from the same people, who have been there for decades,” said Ewe Hock.

BAM’s next major task would be the Asian Games in Jakarta.

The BAM will be represented by 10 men and six women under Category A at the Jakarta Asian Games. They are Lee Chong Wei, Lee Zii Jia, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Leong Jun Hao, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Teo Ee Yi, Ong Yew Sin, Chan Peng Soon, Goh Soon Huat, Goh Liu Ying, Shevon Lai Jemie, Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean.

Six more women shuttlers were only approved under Category by the OCM.

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