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Mohamad Norza the new BAM president?
Published on: Friday, February 17, 2017

Kuala Lumpur: A 'Gentlemen's Agreement' has become a bone of contention in the Badminton of Malaysia (BAM), fuelling speculation that a storm is brewing in the association's leadership.

Winds of change in store at the BAM, just like the Football Association of Malaysia?

According to a source close to the association, all BAM council members received a letter Thursday reminding them of a 'Gentlemen's Agreement' between the association's top brass, as to who would replace president Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, who had decided to 'rest' due to his health condition in October 2015.

Rumours are rife that BAM's two presidential candidates Tan Sri Al Amin Abd Majid and Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria would be involved in a tussle for the post of president although the 'Gentlemen's Agreement' had already stated the transition of powers and the process.

Tengku Mahaleel who had decided to 'rest' due to health reasons had already stated that he would not be contesting for the post of president during the BAM election in April this year.

It is believed that through the 'Gentlemen's Agreement' which had a top brass from the Youth and Sports Ministry as a witness, Al Amin would be the acting president until the end of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics while Mohamad Norza would take over as president from 2017.

Tengku Mahaleel when enquired about the 'Gentlemen's Agreement' however, did not elaborate further.

"I do not want to make any comments about any individual, what I can say is we need to be gentleman.

I will not be contesting and the new leadership would be through a 'Gentlemen's Agreement' process," he said.

Tengku Mahaleel said the individual who takes over as president must have a good working relationship with the National Sports Institute (ISN) and the National Sports Council (NSC).

Another very important requirement is that the new president must ensure BAM progressed and the performance of players improve.

He said the BAM cannot be proud of players who can only finish third or fourth in competition but have the determination and drive to finish at the top.

"When I took over the National team made it to the Thomas Cup final, so there was certainly a change.

In sports there should always be changes but we cannot be satisfied with third or fourth placing," he said.

Malaysia made it to the final of the Thomas Cup in 2014 but lost to Japan but in 2016 failed to make it to the final and finished fourth behind Denmark, Indonesia and South Korea.

The spat between BAM Technical Director Morten Frost Hansen and National badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei could add spice to the forthcoming tussle. – Bernama

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