FACTA, non verba. It means “deeds, not words” in Latin. Action, not speeches.
That is what will be on Ng Chin Chai’s mind as he chairs the Coaching and Training Committee (CNT) meeting at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara today as the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) conduct a review and seek answers and solutions to a better future for Malaysian badminton.
“I prefer not to talk. Better for me to do more, and talk less,” said Chin Chai when contacted yesterday.
His gruff statement is understandable.
The BAM have been under fire from many quarters and the heat is on Chin Chai to come out with an effective and workable plan for Malaysian badminton.
Since world No. 2 Lee Chong Wei’s agonising loss to China’s Lin Dan in the final of the Olympic Games in London last month, thus prolonging Malaysia’s wait for a gold medal, there have been strong reactions.
There have been calls for BAM’s top brass to step down. Others took pot shots at some key players in BAM.
Whatever their reasons may be – for personal gain or with sincerity – egos have been bruised.
Some want the coaches to buck up. Some want top men’s pair Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong to be split up. Some just want quick actions so that Malaysia can produce more players like Chong Wei.
BAM president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh has said that he has led the association without fear or favour but is disappointed that many do not see the whole picture.
Frankly, I believe that the problem in BAM is not about the personalities in power. Rather, it is their decisions that have been questioned and disputed.
One of the most fundamental needs for Malaysia is to have one head – one coaching director (chief coach/high performance director or whatever you want to call it) to steer the team.
The new structure should be built for a visionary man to take charge – just like Li Yongbo holds the fort for China, Park Joo-bong in Japan and Christian Hadinata in Indonesia.
The roles of the chief coach should be clearly defined and he should be given the full power and mandate to plan, select and earmark players for international tournaments. He should be accountable for his coaches’ and players’ progress.
This is the missing piece in the BAM jigsaw.
Former world champion Han Jian hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that there were way too many cooks in BAM’s house.
The BAM had the right idea when they appointed Datuk James Selvaraj as the high performance director (HPD) but it was wrong to allow him to work on a part-time basis.
The worst part is BAM continued to keep him in the job although they knew it wasn’t working out.
Monitoring the coaches and players should be a full-time job.
The BAM lost the plot even further when they kept on piling the number of HPDs to four despite all these people doing the same old, same old.
The BAM are also guilty of inconsistency in their decision-making.
First, they stopped former internationals Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen from competing in the World Championships although they had qualified on merit.
They then banned Tan Chun Seang for walking out on the national team – but gave Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari their blessings to become professionals.
Wait, there’s more.
The BAM also allowed the Ng sisters – Hui Lin and Hui Ern – the privilege of training and competing with the national team although they are studying in London. It is a noble idea but don’t you think that everyone should enjoy the same treatment?
Claims of politicking among coaches are also damaging the image of BAM and it is something that the association should address and eradicate.
Indeed, so much has been said over the past week.
There have been hurtful words. There have been constructive criticisms. There have been baseless allegations.
Let’s all clam-up.
Like Chin Chai said, it’s time to let their actions do the talking.
All anyone can hope for is that the team headed by Chin Chai take the right course of action for the sake of Malaysian badminton’s future.