Change or be left behind, says ex-BAM official

Lee Chong Wei

A former BA of Malaysia (BAM) council member has applauded Badminton Asia chief operating officer Kenny Goh’s assessment of what ills the national body.

Goh, a former BAM general manager told Twentytwo13 yesterday “something is wrong with BAM’s coaching and training structure (C&T)”.

Goh added it was disheartening no effort was made to relook the C&T structure when it was obvious only Lee Chong Wei was constantly producing results and warned other countries have overtaken Malaysia.

The council member, who was active in the scene until recently, said: “The impotence of C&T is its inability to take the bull by its horns.

“Another grave situation is the employment of coaches and the management of them. The C&T committee couldn’t harness their abilities to the fullest when they were in Malaysia.

“We were too impatient and wanted instant results.”

“This saw them leaving – to the advantage of other countries.

He added Park Joo-bong has whipped up a world-class team aided by the Japanese culture, discipline and indomitable spirit.

Joo-bong was in charge of Malaysia from 2000-2003 but was deemed a failure. He returned to South Korea and helped his home nation win a gold, two silver, and one bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

He then left for Japan and oversaw the nation’s badminton team rise, helping the country win the Thomas Cup for the first time in 2014 and regaining the Uber Cup this year after a 27-year wait.

He has also produced Japan’s first Olympic champions in women’s pair Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo, plus scores of other notable results.

“It took time for Joo-bong to turn Japan into the world beaters they are today. More crucially, there was no interference,” said the former council member.

“In Malaysia, many want to have a say in team selections, even politicians! Malaysian badminton is at its lowest ebb.”

“We are so focused on one player – as great as he is – that we have neglected the young players who have faded away.

He stressed it was time to change the way the C&T committee works and that BAM must re-evaluate its development programmes.

“We have many talented players but somehow, they have not made it into the system or were neglected.”