There were hard words from Chairman of the BAM coaching and training committee Datuk Ng Chin Chai to the Malaysian players at the meeting held Thursday. Players were accused for underperforming and called mentally weak.

One thing often leads to another. As we told on Thursday there was a meeting in the coaching and training committee of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) where they were to discuss the current problems in Malaysian badminton. Winning no medals at any of the majors in 2018 is unacceptable. Should BAM hire a full-time chief coach or not?

And there were some hard words on the way from Chairman of the committee, Datuk Ng Chin Chai. While the committee on one side took full responsibility for the miserable result at the recent Asian Games in Jakarta, the Chairman also said the players failed to deliver. He even added that if they keep underperforming they could end up being told to leave. To the Malaysian newspaper The Star the Chairman has said that the BAM has done a lot for the players and even maybe over-pampered them so the committee has to draw a line. The coaching and training committee expects podium places and if the players still fail to deliver these, they will be excluded from the national team.

Decision has been taken

And that leads to the main topic on the meeting held on Thursday. The current setup consists of five head coaches for each their own category who all report directly to the coaching and trainings committee led by Datuk Ng Chin Chai. He and other council members are not a full-time worker though and they also have other commitments outside badminton.

It has therefore been decided that Malaysia will hire a full-time coaching director who shall have the overall responsibility of reviving the glory of Malaysian badminton. It must be a person who can identify the reason for the problems of lacking results and someone who is able to handle all of the national team from the very top to the very bottom, from seniors and down to juniors.

Few names came up at the meeting but the committee doesn’t want to reveal them. If we look at other countries, Japan is enjoying extremely good success with Korean Park Joo-bong and in Thailand it’s Indonesia’s Rexy Mainaky who is doing a great job as head coach. Both have previously been with the Badminton Association of Malaysia. Park Joo-bong from 2000 to 2003 and Rexy Mainaky from 2005 to 2012. It is of course very unlikely that they would leave Japan and Thailand before the next Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

Interesting speculations

The Star therefore speculates in other names and this is where Li Yongbo is suddenly mentioned. The 55-year old Chinese – a rival of Park Joo-bong when they were both active players – is currently the Vice President of the Chinese Badminton Association. It will be questionable whether he is up for the job in Malaysia or not. In terms of languages it would be a great match though as most of the Malaysian players also speak Chinese.

Further speculations go on the current five head coaches – Datuk Misbun Sidek from men’s singles, Datuk Tey Seu Bock from women’s singles, Paulus Firman from men’s doubles, Rosman Razak from women’s doubles, and Pang Cheh Chang from mixed doubles – and former top players Wong Choong Hann, Lee Wan Wah, Rashid Sidek, Datuk Razif Sidek and Datuk James Selvaraj.

So far this is, as mentioned, speculations but one thing, which is for sure, is that BAM will aim for hiring their new coaching director by the end of 2018. The qualification period for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo begins early 2019. At the same time BAM doesn’t want to rush things through and they don’t want to blow up the budget either. But they really want something to happen so they can bring back Malaysia where they belong; in the very top of badminton.

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