Rashid Sidek says Zii Jia leaving BAM at the wrong time

KUALA LUMPUR: Rashid Sidek said shuttler Lee Zii Jia shouldn't have quit the national team so soon.

World No 7 Zii Jia stunned the badminotn fraternity by submitting his resignation letter to BAM on Wednesday with the intention of turning professional. And he is only 23.

This has sparked much debate on social media with many fans believing that the All-England champion Zii Jia is making the right decision about his future.

Rashid, the hero of Malaysia's 1992 Thomas Cup triumph, however, believes that this is not the right time for Zii Jia to walk out on BAM.

"This is my personal opinion. I believe Zii Jia's decision is due to his lack of experience in life," said the former national coach.

"He's still young and new to the role of being the top national shuttler, and BAM have helped him a lot in his development.

"I feel that he has probably not contributed nor achieved enough to warrant leaving the national setup so soon.

"After all, he has only won one All-England title to date. Maybe it would have been better if he had stuck around longer to win medals, especially at the World Championships or the Olympics.

"I think this is because he is still young. When I was younger and around his age, I used to think like this too.

"It wasn't until I was much older that I thought it wasn't very right after all."

Rashid said the action to be taken by BAM on Zii Jia's exit is important as it will set a precedent, and others will be watching.

"Honestly, it's not a very healthy culture when players keep leaving, and BAM, as an institution, allow it.

"Now it's Zii Jia. But what if Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik want to leave or (Ng) Tze Yong, after breaking into the world top 10?

"I think this is something that BAM will need to consider when they make their decision," added Rashid.

BAM will announce the action to be taken on the issue tomorrow.

Zii Jia will be the first shuttler to leave the national setup at his peak if BAM allow it.

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