Selangor Journal
Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh speaks to the press after the Women’s Day ministry-level celebration, at Pusat Dagangan NZX Lembah Subang in Petaling Jaya, on March 11, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Minister declines to intervene in BAM – Zii Jia spat

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh has declined to intervene in the latest spat involving the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and the country’s professional men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia.

She said it would be better for both parties to internally resolve the issue regarding the apparel used for training at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.

Yeoh also refused to comment on whether the issue could affect Lee’s performance, which had been on a downward trend of late.

“I have not spoken to Lee Jia yet. Let BAM solve this issue; just keep it to an apparel issue and not an attitude issue,” she said at a press conference after launching the Kuala Lumpur Women’s Super League (KLWSL) 2023 football tournament, earlier today.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said she believes Team LZJ coaching director Wong Tat Meng should be given some time to focus on more strategic efforts to improve Lee’s performance.

On Wednesday, Wong in an Instagram post said he was really surprised and felt like he was being ‘bullied’ after BAM required professional players not to don sportswear from brands other than those sponsored by the parent body if they wished to train at ABM.

Lee, in a comment on Tat Meng’s post, said: “Do not say later that I am ‘big-headed’ for not coming to training. Aishhhhh… it is so hard to be LZJ, it is all my fault, (I am having a) headache,”

BAM Deputy President I Datuk V Subramaniam in a statement yesterday said the rules were only for clothing and professional players were allowed to use rackets and shoes from their respective sponsor brands when training at ABM.

In another development, Yeoh hinted that she already had future plans for National Sports Council (MSN) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail whose service ends next month.

“Right now Ahmad Shapawi is very busy with the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China and Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) 2023. Let him focus on that, the (future) plans are already there, but I will not disclose it yet. When the time comes it will be announced,” she said.

The 2022 Asian Games are scheduled to take place from September 23 to October 8 while the LTdL 2023 will be from September 23 to September 30.

Meanwhile, KLWSL programme director Khushairi Aizad said the second edition of the tournament, which takes place from tomorrow until October 15, will feature 10 teams including the KL Sunbears FC, Setiawangsa Rangers FC, Wangsa Maju City FC, and Spicegals FC.

— Bernama

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