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06-06-2012, 03:02 AM #630
06-06-2012, 03:10 AM #631
06-06-2012, 03:32 AM #632
Another article from Azman Ujang
Bring back the Badminton Academy
Posted on 4 June 2012 - 07:56pm
Last updated on 4 June 2012 - 09:50pm
THIS is the third week in a row that this column deals with the same topic – the state of affairs of badminton in the country – the one truly people’s sport played by millions of Malaysians from all walks of life.
I do so to show the importance that I, as a die-hard follower, attach to our survival as a badminton-playing nation of world reckoning.
Many may think we need not yet press the panic button despite recent events, the latest being the Thomas Cup debacle in China 10 days ago. And our only realistic hope of winning Malaysia’s first ever Olympic gold medal – the ultimate prize for any sport – world No. 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei, is nursing the worst injury of his career hardly two months shy of the London Olympics.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has taken a lot of criticism following Malaysia’s recent failure to reach even the semi-final of the Thomas Cup, something we normally take for granted.
Even with a fully fit Chong Wei, the squad for the 2012 Thomas Cup was billed the weakest we’ve assembled, and when he sustained the injury at the quarter-final against Denmark, our hopes crashed around him.
In the wake of all this, BAM president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh on Thursday came out with remarks that amount to a telling admission of why our badminton is what it is today.
He told the media: “In the long run, we will focus on grassroots development.
“We also need to unearth more talents like Chong Wei. We aim to develop more players into world beaters, but to do that we need world class coaches.
“I’ve also issued a challenge to current coaches to try to develop their players into world-beaters.”
This is vintage Nadzmi, making mild points that betray the gravity of the situation especially the fact that Chong Wei is now our only world-class player. And if this greatest ambassador of badminton we’ve ever produced hangs his racquet up after the Olympics, being more injury-prone now than ever and with age catching up, the vacuum is a long way from being filled.
I’m disappointed that fellow journalists who met Nadzmi that day did not apparently ask him this: “Do you mean to say that after all these years, BAM hasn’t done all this?”
This brings me to what happened 20 years ago when Datuk Dr Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan took over as BAM president from Tan Sri Elyas Omar.
Elyas during his tenure established a full-fledged Malaysian Badminton Academy as well as the Malaysian Badminton Foundation to fund it.
BAM had set up the academy in a joint venture with MBf, at that time a top finance company which later merged with AmBank following the banking merger exercise.
The federal government allocated 2.7ha in Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur for the project, where MBf set up the Garden International School which doubled up as the academy. Badminton-minded students enrolled at the school were given priority to train at the academy while the foundation, which received donations from well-
wishers and the corporate sector, provided scholarships to needy students being groomed into world beaters.
Those familiar with the academy said it was working very well. Unfortunately it, along with the foundation, were disbanded soon after Fadzil took over.
In the words of one badminton fan who texted me after reading my column last week: “The academy was launched with fanfare but disappeared without even a whimper after just a few promising years of existence. That, to me, is the other side of Malaysia’s badminton tragedy”.
I still remember an announcement by then BAM secretary Punch Gunalan that the academy would be replaced by a project under which 1,000 badminton courts would be built throughout the country.
Whatever happened to those 1,000 courts? No doubt, such courts can be an avenue for the people to sweat it out, but on their own, how do they produce world champions compared to an entity such as an academy?
According to former New Straits Times sports editor Tony Francis, the courts project was subsequently taken over by two businessmen including Vell Pari, a son of former MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
Vell Pari is currently overseas and unavailable to shed light on what happened to the project.
Nadzmi had also said Malaysia was facing a dearth of players who could be turned into world beaters, and on hindsight, we could blame this on, among other
things, the decision of his predecessor to dismantle the academy.
Assuming that the academy produced just 20 badminton talents a year, over the last 20 years, we would have stockpiled 400 such talents. And even if just 20% made it to some international ranking, this would be 80 players.
Because we killed the academy, Malaysia has since had to depend on well over-the-hill players like Hafiz Hashim for the second singles slot and needless to say, the outcome is a foregone conclusion. And despite our top two doubles pairs performing badly against China, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia, we had no choice but to persist with them, having no solid back-up players.
The government which designated the land for the academy should also be asking what happened to it?
BAM should bring back the academy without wasting more resources and time conducting post mortems, something Malaysian sports bodies are obsessed with.
A state badminton association president, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that to unearth talent, there used to be the national schoolboys championship, the Heah Joo Siang inter-state championship, and even inter-company championships. These no longer exist.
“BAM spends millions a year, but how much goes to development at the state level? We are spending pittance compared on travelling expenses, salaries and other perks. How can we go on like this?” he asked.
I am told some BAM council members, especially state presidents, have been on the panel for well over 30 years and that perhaps it’s time they made way for fresh faces, since we haven’t for a long time seen world beaters from these states.
No doubt Nadzmi has a lot on his plate in restoring some semblance of honour to our time-tested national sport. Badminton is much more to Malaysia’s sporting honour and image than personalities.
Recent events are not only a wake-up call but also indicate it is time for soul-searching across the board at BAM.
Azman Ujang is a former editor-in-chief of Bernama. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
lets study some history, shall we?? Mr Azman, you have my respect
06-06-2012, 03:40 AM #633
Anothe earlier article
What now after Wuhan?
Posted on 29 May 2012 - 06:32pm
Last updated on 30 May 2012 - 08:39am Azman Ujang
IN the aftermath of yet another Thomas Cup debacle, what is left of Malaysia's badminton, the only sports of Olympics status that we can claim to be of world ranking?
In the 2012 Thomas Cup in Wuhan, China, Malaysia did not even make it to the semi-finals. In the history of this tournament that's the symbol of world team badminton supremacy, only three countries have won it – China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Perhaps the only "consolation" as we see our badminton fast fading into international obscurity is that Indonesia, with 10 times our population, also failed miserably.
No one is angrier at this state of affairs than Tan Sri Elyas Omar, the man who was president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) when we last won the Thomas Cup 20 years ago.
He was emotional when I chatted with him over the weekend.
"The Thomas Cup debacle is the worst that has happened to Malaysia's 'maruah' (honour)," he said. And in a surprise outburst, he told me: "(Datuk Seri) Nadzmi should step down right now. I shall be grateful if you could pass this message to him. Please do me this favour."
This was his plea to BAM president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh, who upon getting the message texted back: "I noted his views. No doubt, Tan Sri Elyas was capable and achieved a lot during his time."
Elyas went on: "Enough damage has been done to Malaysian badminton. BAM is lost in the wilderness as the leadership is weak. Badminton needs a leader to pull us out of this."
In his response, Nadzmi disclosed that in the last two BAM annual general meetings, he had declined to stay on as president but the association's council persuaded him to continue.
"Finally, I suggested for two deputy presidents for a smooth transition when I step down," said Nadzmi.
In defending his management team, Nadzmi said they have no other interests than to promote badminton and the biggest challenge is how to stay ahead in the sport and win more prestigious tournaments on a sustainable basis.
Whoever can do this must also command huge finances because the world is the playground. He asked: "Do we have the person and whether one person alone can make a difference? That's my honest opinion."
Elyas on the other hand likens the BAM presidency to the leader of a nation. "There's only one prime minister to lead the country and whoever is in the saddle is responsible to mobilise the nation or the entire group of followers to achieve success."
He spoke of his own formula for success. "When I was BAM president, I did all the thinking and strategising, all the efforts of financing, all the motivation of the players all by myself," said Elyas, who was formerly the sports commissioner and before that, Kuala Lumpur mayor.
Elyas was also credited for leading the Malaysian team which successfully lobbied for Kuala Lumpur as the hosts of the 1998 Commonwealth Games, the biggest sporting event ever to be held in Malaysia.
Back to the Thomas Cup, what is obvious is that Nadzmi's idea of having four different coaches for the national team, instead of just one head coach as adopted by other countries, is seen as the key reason for our failure.
The so-called four-member "high performance" coaching team is simply not working and should be scrapped immediately. It's all the more absurd when you consider the dismal performance of our doubles pairs on the world stage.
Why does BAM want to be different when China, South Korea, Japan and Denmark have it the old-fashioned way of having one chief coach who calls all the shots.
Razif Sidek, a member of our 1992 Thomas Cup winning team and one of the world's best doubles players in his heyday, has also joined Elyas in calling for Nadzmi to quit.
He said Nadzmi cannot continue to give the "same old excuses" for Malaysia's Thomas Cup failures. Apart from Nadzmi, several other top officials who have overstayed, some even longer than him in the comfort of BAM, should also go.
I let Elyas conclude this column: "We've no future in football, athletics and soon badminton."
Azman Ujang is a former editor-in-chief of Bernama. Comments: email@example.com
for us, Bcers that talk kok, sing song everyday...lets hear from the "real men" in the industry...
06-06-2012, 03:49 AM #634
06-06-2012, 04:37 AM #635
I also wondered what happened to the BAM academy located at Taman Maluri. Rupa-rupanya telah ditutup. Now most of the trainees are recruited either from state, private academies?, BJSS.
06-06-2012, 05:48 AM #636
- I beg to diifer somewhat on your interpretation of Gopichand’s statements. I go by what was reported in that article where the context was the journalist asking for his view on China manipulating ranking points, and in reply he addressed more than just that issue, viz http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/s...w/12914047.cms
- You refer to party ideology in the broadest sense as a key element of a socio-political system,particularly the socialist/communist one. In that case, the capitalist ideology for example,is no less pervasive albeit in a more subtle yet deeply-embedded manner (they don’t call it ideology) as exemplified in the cash nexus (money culture),material pursuits,hyper consumerism,individualism (me first) – as typified in the American Dream gone wrong, in Singapore we call it the 5 Cs,i.e. cash,car,condominium,certificate,and credit card;
- IMHO, in place of ideology as a factor for sporting success, I ‘d like to offer my perspective which is “the national will” and “the spirit of the people” comprising the soft power, something which I believe nations big and small,rich and poor , can emulate. As illustrative examples, Jamiacan sprinters , Kenyan long-distance marathon runners, two backward nations with very limited resources to speak of,not to mention the US where athletics is largely a Black domain;
- Serendipty, perchance two days ago I came across an article wriiten by Dev Sukumar,the Indian sports writer, entitled “Wang Wen Jiao,the ‘father of Chinese badminton’ tells it all”, which explained how China became a badminton superpower http://www.dnasyndication.com/dna/article/DNBAN33623 - due to copyright restriction I’m unable to copy and paste it here;
- In my post # 617 which was an add-on to the post # 616 where you responded, I quoted the example of Denmark benefiting greatly from an ex-China coach for 22 years, Zhang Liangying. On that basis, I daresay should it come to pass that BAM managed to get LYB, he can do for MAS badminton what Zhang Liangying has done for Denmark producing champions. The first thing BAM is going to ask him is not what party ideology he’s bringing along but what results he can show.However this is a moot point,it ain’t gonna happen;
- Talking about LYB,he’s well suited for the job and has been helming CBA for 19 years doesn’t mean he’s irreplaceable or indispensable, a matter of time he will retire. I think Zhong Bo,a man of quite different character and temperament,can do the job just as well,party ideology aside. The world knows China today,34 years after Deng Xiaoping’s opening up and reform policy to build socialism with Chinese characteristics, is a very different place. Just look at Lin Dan, his post match/victory display,ripping his shirt off,throwing his shoes to the crowd,doing a breakdance, his four-corner soldier salute (that’s because he is in the army) – behaviour that would have been unthinkable 30-40 years ago. What about Wang Shixian openly revealing her differences with her coach Zhang Ning, a breach of party discipline?;
- Back to LYB again, I think his relationship as head coach vis-à-vis his cohort of coaches and players is one of superior and subordinates as found in any open organization all over the world. It is too far-fetched to suppose,men like Tang Xianhu, Hou JiaChang,and Tang Xuehua who are his respected seniors and in some ways more capable than him would willingly work with and under him for so long without him possessing the “right” qualities and attributes. We certainly won’t regard these famous coaches and wellknown crop of players as mindless automatons,unfeeling robots obediently doing his every bidding,pandering to his whims and fancies .
Last edited by Justin L; 06-06-2012 at 05:51 AM.
06-06-2012, 05:58 AM #637
said that nadzmi gonna go,not because of responsibility
its because maybank is the major sponsor now
bam is still a place for politician to play around and earn money under the current system
06-06-2012, 06:29 AM #638
Tan Kim Her's blunder and failure for his own charges to produce results prove that Lee Yong Dae, Hwang Ji-man, Lee Jae Jin's emergence was not credited to him.
He just happen to be at the right place and the right time when the Koreans were glorified. I was thinking of Ng Boon Bee or maybe Ong Beng Teong to help them polish the doubles.
06-06-2012, 06:30 AM #639
I feel that BAM should look forward, all those squabbling,finger-pointing,mutual accusations and blame game, won't do any more good, so much has been said already, high time to act.
Appoint someone most people,if not everybody, can agree upon to take charge, give him a free hand, set clear realistic goals, come out with a plan of action, adjust and fine-tune it along the way, monitor and supervise but not too rigidly.
And once, say Darren Liew or Chong Wei Feng begin to achieve one or two reasonably good results, everybody will become more hopeful,motivated, inspired and happily work towards the same goals in mutual support and encouragement. All those negative talk and bad attitude problems will naturally be diminished. Success builds a upon success.
Turn "Malaysia Boleh" into concrete actions, don't just talk and talk and talk, not mere empty slogans. When "Malaysia Boleh" becomes the national will, the spirit of the people, there's no obstacles you cannot overcome as far as badminton is concerned. Look at Jamaica producing so many world-record sprinters, Kenya so many long-distance marathon runners - these two are backward countries with little resources,mind you.
06-06-2012, 07:34 AM #640
For too long, MAS has been too dependent on Lee CW to deliver the results. Every time he comes near to winning a big one and fails, you console yourself, never mind next time he will succeed. Like putting all your eggs in one basket. After he's failed a few times,shouldn't you be asking yourself, we cannot count on him alone, we need a few more like him to increase our chances and start cultivating more prospects. Doing that will also reduce the pressure on LCW,lessen his nerves and,who knows,he can play better and finally win the majors. Saina of India is facing the same problem and the Indian media is doing her more harm than good.
All this is water under the bridge,no use lamenting what might-have-been,what's done is done. Now is the time to act. If you have the domestic talent,use him to take charge of BAM, if not,what's wrong with importing foreign talent? Aren't your Chinese and Indian population descended from migrants? Isn't MAS a multi-cultural,multi-racial society? There is strength in diversity. Take Japan,she has Park Joo Bong a Korean as coach, and look where is Japan badminton today.
Methinks,the politicians are interfering too much for their own political agenda. A badminton body representing the country should not be politicised - sport is for everybody.
06-06-2012, 07:57 AM #641
I think Tan Sri Elyas Omar is open to the idea of becoming the big boss of BAM if there is enough public support.
So, here is one theory you can put to the test. Just go around, everyone, to canvass support to appoint our honorable and distinguished Tan Sri Elyas Omar to take over as president for life. No such thing as a mere advisor for that will be "chicken".
06-06-2012, 08:37 AM #642
06-06-2012, 10:03 AM #643
06-06-2012, 10:06 AM #644
06-06-2012, 10:09 AM #645
If he can whip the fatty beer belly and the gambler, maybe still got chance on the next one.
06-06-2012, 10:24 AM #646
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