By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: The 23-year involvement of Datuk Punch Gunalan in the administration of Malaysian badminton came to an end when he relinquished the last two positions he held yesterday.
The former All-England doubles champion stepped down as the president of Kuala Lumpur Badminton Association (KLBA) at their biennial general meeting.
And the owner of professional club KLRC Bhd, Datuk Seri Andrew Kam was elected unopposed as the new president. Andrew will also become a vice-president in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) by virtue of being the head of a state association.
Gunalan had officially resigned as deputy president and council member of Badminton World Federation (BWF) after the Thomas Cup Finals in Jakarta in May.
Gunalan, who went for a heart-bypass operation recently, said that he was resigning because of health reasons and was glad to have made his mark for Malaysia in badminton administration in the world.
“It's the end of my involvement in badminton. I will not hold any position after this,” said the 64-year-old. “I first came into badminton administration in 1985 and I am happy with what I had achieved, including the introduction of the Super Series and the increase in prize money in tournaments. I also helped to get badminton into the Olympics (in Barcelona in 1992).”
Gunalan had been involved in an internal conflict with BWF president Kang Young-joong.
A vote of no confidence was subsequently taken against Gunalan during the BWF annual general meeting (AGM) in Jakarta.
Andrew, who will serve a two-year term, said: “I think that I was proposed for the president's post because of my work with KLRC and what we done to help promote the game.”
The KLBAAA Council
President: Datuk Seri Andrew Kam.
Vice-presidents: Azlan Mohd Ariff, A. Subramaniam, M. Venugopal.
Secretary: Mohd Abdullah.
Treasurer: K. Samarasam.