There is no need for the Sports Minister to play the role of a Bollywood hero in trying to resolve the issue of Datuk Misbun Sidek's resignation from the coaching set-up of the Badminton Association of Malaysia. The Minister has far more important issues to look at, if he sticks to his role as the Sports Minister. And besides is he the right person to handle the impasse given the fact that he was once closely associated with Nusa Mahsuri?
Now lets look at the whole perspective objectively, not the way some have made it out to be, by misquoting the BAM President, by coming up with conspiracy theories, by implying that poor management within BAM are the cause, and even getting Misbun's family involved.
Misbun and Dato Lee Chong Wei had confided in me that they wanted to leave BAM some three months ago. So there is really nothing to stop them from doing so as their minds were made up then. There was some talk on the problems they faced within BAM, right from the training program for Chong Wei, administrative matters, interference from a NSC official, right down to commercial issues.
The bottom line is Misbun and Chong Wei had bounced the idea of turning professional a few months ago and maybe they have finalised all the commercial aspects of things and hence though it was the right time to go. So Misbun took the first step and Chong Wei will follow suit, and so will some other players.
Now the question that begged to be asked is, will Misbun and Chong Wei be any less Malaysian should they leave the BAM stable? Nope as they will still have the Malaysian flag on their attire and for all intent and purpose, they will enter as Malaysians for any competitions and are subject to representing the nation in inter team events, when called upon to do so.
Now lets take a look at the commercial aspects, for no doubt Chong Wei commands top dollar in terms for sponsorship. So who gains if Chong Wei opts to leave? Surely attire and equipment sponsors ad BAM were entrapped into signing for their current sponsors through no mistake of the current administration. So why blame BAM for the commercial aspects?
No doubt Chong Wei has to think of his future, and so does Misbun, hence them leaning towards something more financially beneficial is to be expected. That is why I wrote in September that players opting to leave should be given their blessings, and that stand seems to have been adopted by NSC and the Minister and most probably BAM, but not some quarters who want to make a mountain out of a molehill.
If Misbun wants to stay, then he ought to have made it clear in his resignation letter when he had the opportunity. But take a look at the letter and you can see it was not written under duress. So my question now is, did he give sufficient notice as stated in his terms and condition of employment since his letter is dated 31 December 2010 and effective 3 Jan 2011?
Talking about conspiracy theories, it is said that a so called powerful lady is behind this sordid affair to undermine the leadership of BAM, that this lady is also now interfering in the deal with Maybank, thus the delay in announcing the deal. It is also said that a former official of BAM is the culprit behind this new so called fiasco.
In the conversations with Chong Wei and Misbun over their expected departure from the BAM stable in October during the Commonwealth Games, one couldn't but help notice their determination to leave but at the same time they wanted to tie up loose ends, like having the ability to stay afloat for the next couple of years, by planning for the next generation, by looking at how NSC deals with the issue of professionalism - taking the case of Dato Nicol David as an example.
So they ahve though about it and money was the key determining factor, and now Misbun has decided. Will Chong wei follow suit? I sure do hope so and at the same time I hope others to will leave, though not necessarily that the grass is always greener on the other side.
For BAM, I only have this to say, your core business is badminton, so get back to the core business that they have neglected> Leave the politics to the likes of the Minister, for he needs the votes thesedays, not you in BAM.