SEPANG: The National Sports Council will consider rewarding the nation's badminton heroes Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, said the council's deputy director-general Zolkples Embong.
We will consider, think, and decide how to reward the pair. We do not want to spoil them with material rewards, which may result in a drop in future performances, he said at KL International Airport last night while awaiting the arrival of the duo.
He added that rewarding them was not automatic because the All-England and the Swiss Open tournaments are not in the council's awards' list.
So we really need to sit down and consider, he said, noting that the council would reward justly if it was the World Championship that the pair had won.
Zolkples said the council did not want to set any precedent in terms of rewarding national heroes with material thingsjust because they won any tournament.
Right now, we just want them to concentrate on the game and give their all in future tournaments, he added.
By winning the Swiss Open, the pair took homecash prizes of US,000 (RM49,000), an extra 25% on that amount from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), and a presidential bonus of RM10,000.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman, who was also at KLIA,said: The pair's success last week has proven that Malaysia Boleh! To emerge as champions in two tournaments in a week is certainly something for the nation to be proud of.
Azalina added that the victories were also because BAM had done an excellent job in recognising new talents.
We have a lot of hidden talents and it is important that sports associations recognise such potential,she said.
BAM president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said: We are proud of the duo and are certainly proud to have a talented coach who knows how to manage his players.
Koo and Tan were given a hero's welcome upon their arrival.
About 200 people, including fans and family members, were there to greet them. Among them were Umno Youth, Barisan Nasional Youth, MCA Titiwangsa and BAM members.
(source: The Star Online)