What fair play, BAM?
The Star Online
Sunday May 22, 2011
By RAJES PAUL
FAIRNESS and fair play are rules sportsmen and sportswomen the world over abide by.
Try telling that to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), who unceremonously dropped former internationals Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen from the World Championships in London from Aug 8-14.
This is despite the duo, sponsored by Apacs and KL Rackets, having worked their socks off to qualify on merit. And not to mention sourcing for their own funds to compete in the qualifying tournaments.
Their place instead went to Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Hoon Thien How, with BAM giving a myriad of excuses to justify their move.
Say what you want, but Teik Chai-Bin Shen fought the race well, despite not being as privileged as their fully-funded BAM counterparts, to finish 16th in the world – just 12 rungs behind top shuttlers Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and far ahead of the other elite and back-up shuttlers.
And what did BAM do? They kept Teik Chai-Bin Shen in the dark about their participation until the 11th hour before dropping the bombshell on them.
It was simply too late for Teik Chai-Bin Shen to fight for their right.
Hopefully, their plight will help BAM right the wrong in their selection process.
Although BAM secretary and coaching and training committee chairman Ng Chin Chai stood by their decision to drop Teik Chai-Bin Shen, at least he conceded that their selection processes could be improved.
Chin Chai had also said that the decision was done in the best interest of the nation.
What he, and the whole of BAM, fail to understand is that their action smacks of high-handedness and unfairness.
Won’t Teik Chai-Bin Shen be representing Malaysia in London? Of course they will.
Won’t they go all out to bring glory, honour and fame for the country? Of course they will.
For goodness sake, they earned the right to compete in London.
So, what is the problem?
Does a badminton player becomes less of a Malaysian and less patriotic if he does not come under the BAM banner?
What makes BAM’s decision all the more puzzling is the inclusion of veteran singles shuttler Wong Choon Hann for the world meet.
The BAM could have dropped Choong Hann and named Liew Daren or Goh Soon Huat for the singles event, right?
No, they admitted that the 34-year-old pro was still the better bet compared to any of their own players.
Inconsistency in BAM’s decision-making process will only make players question the national body’s actions.
Is favouritism and biasness prevalent in the system?, they may ask.
BAM have to be fair to their current set of players as well as those outside of their stable. After all, these players have sacrificed a lot for the game.
It is BAM’s responsibility to take care of these former players.
They should maintain a good relationship with the players, even after they leave the national set-up.
This will provide a win-win situation whereby the BAM can tap into their wealth of experience while the former players will have the national body’s blessings to compete in tournaments and in the setting up of badminton academies.
BAM did well to hire former top women’s singles shuttler Wong Mew Choo as the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) coach.
But more than just keeping them within the four walls of the BAM, it would do a world of good to the image of Malaysian sport if BAM can continue to support their players long after they have left the national body.