PORT DICKSON: National shuttlers received a timely boost ahead of the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals when the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) cleared a debt of about RM2mil in bonuses accumulated over two years yesterday.
All the players received their dues from the BAM president, Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, after completing their fun-filled three-day motivation camp at Bayu Beach Resort in Port Dickson.
The money was earned by the players through bonuses via the world rankings and winning competitions.
Under the BAM’s incentive scheme, if a player maintains his status in the top 32 bracket in the world, he gets a bonus between RM4,500 and RM45,000 on a quarterly basis. If he wins a tournament, the BAM reward him with an additional RM10,000.
Among the players in the team yesterday, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has earned the most from his good performances over the last two years.
Doubles shuttler Koo Kien Keat said that the payout was timely.
“The players are very happy that all the money has been paid. We are delighted to receive the bank statements from our president today,” he said.
“For me, the money owed was from 2007.
“It’s a big relief and there will be no more headache for me as far as my finances are concerned.
“Players would be happy if the BAM can pay on time in future to avoid unnecessary stress on us.
“This payout will certainly be a great encouragement for all the players ahead of the Thomas Cup Finals. There will not be outside pressure or distraction. This will certainly motivate us to continue with our efforts to regain the Cup.”
Malaysia last won the Thomas Cup at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur in 1992.
The Thomas-Uber Cup Finals this time will be held at the Purta Stadium in Bukit Jalil from May 9-16.
Nadzmi, who was in Port Dickson to close the motivation camp, thanked the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, for bailing them out in paying the money to the players.
Najib announced a payment of RM2mil for the BAM following Chong Wei’s victory in the 100th edition of the All-England in Birmingham last month.
“We could not pay out the money earlier because the association did not have enough cash flow and lacked sponsors,” said Nadzmi.
“But I had considered it as a good problem because it showed that more players had done better to enjoy our incentives over the two years.
“The government’s aid came in at the right time. Our Prime Minister wanted to solve this problem so that the players could give full concentration to the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals. I hope that they will be able to give undivided attention on the task ahead.”
Nadzmi also said that they would also look at an option to introduce an incentive scheme for coaches and support staff.
“The BAM will look into this. The success of players are also due to the support staff and we may look into introducing an incentive scheme for coaches next,” he said.