Kuala Lumpur: The president of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Norza Zakaria has confirmed that former World No. 1 men’s doubles player Tan Boon Heong will not re-join the Malaysian badminton national team.
“We held several rounds of discussions with Boon Heong, but he has refused our offer as of the deadline yesterday,” said Zakaria.
Zakaria also said that they have hired Paulus Firman to assist Cheah Soon Kit in the men’s doubles department.
“It’s important to have strong doubles pairs for the Thomas Cup. Therefore, with the addition of Paulus Firman in the men’s doubles category, we will focus on strengthening the existing men’s doubles players.”
Speaking to Malaysian media, Tan Boon Heong said that he had given up rejoining the Malaysian team. Instead, he will start a one-year partnership with Korean player Yoo Yeon Seong.
“I told BAM that I would not accept their terms. It was a tough decision. But I must fulfill my obligation with my sponsor, YONEX,” said Tan.
“If BAM really my service, I am still willing to play for the country, it’s up to them to decide,” added Tan.
Tan has been sponsored by badminton equipment manufacturer YONEX for many years, while BAM’s main sponsor is another badminton equipment VICTOR. For now, Tan and Yoo are scheduled to participate in New Zealand Open (May 1st to May 6), Australia Open (May 8 to May 13) and the Malaysia Open (June 26 to July 1).