Big meeting in BAM: Something is wrong in Malaysia!

At the Rio Olympics in 2016 Malaysian shuttlers returned home with three silver medals. In 2018 they have failed to win any medals at all the majors. What is wrong in the proud badminton nation?

According to the Malaysian newspaper The Star, a meeting of hot topics is taking place today at the coaching and training committee of BAM, the Badminton Association of Malaysia. The big question of the meeting is whether they should hire a full-time chief coach or not.

At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 Malaysia was represented in three finals. Sadly they all had to settle with silver medals, but it was nevertheless a fantastic result for the proud badminton nation. Lee Chong Wei, Goh V. Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying were the athletes to bring back those medals.

In September last year coaching director from Denmark, Morten Frost, left the Malaysians who hired five head coaches instead – one for each category. But the desired results in 2018 have not yet shown. Two gold and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in April and one bronze medal at the World Championships in August is of course fine – but it is not enough when you are Malaysia. No medals at the Thomas & Uber Cup finals in May, only one at the World Championships, and none at the recent Asian Games is unacceptable for the Malaysians.

So what is wrong?

It is suggested that the five head coaches should report directly to a full-time chief coach. Right now they are reporting to the coaching and training committee, which is led by Ng China Chai. He and other council members are not full-time workers as they have other commitments outside badminton as well. Even the president of BAM, Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, isn’t able to focus 100% on the work of BAM due to his obligations as president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

Would the solution be to hire a full-time chief coach to whom the head coaches of each category would report? That is the big question. And next question would of course be who would be the right person. Such chief coach should be visionary and be able to monitor the progress of other Asian countries and bring the success into Malaysia badminton as well.

Adding to this the men’s doubles have maybe disappointed more than the other categories. Goh V. Shem has been out saying that in general things are working well for the Malaysian men’s doubles players but one coach is bringing their level down instead of up.

We will follow the development in Malaysia with big interest.

Below you have the list of Malaysia’s results in the big majors in 2018.


Commonwealth Games, April:
MS: Lee Chong Wei – gold
MD: Goh V. Shem/Tan Wee Kiong – bronze
WD: Vivian Hoo/Chow Mei Kuan – gold
XD: Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying – bronze

Asian Championships, April:
MS: Lee Chong Wei – bronze

Thomas & Uber Cup, May:
Men’s team – exit in quarterfinal
Women’s team – exit at group stage

World Championships, August:
MS: Daren Liew – bronze

Asian Games, August:
No medals for Malaysia


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