Norza to reconsider decision to step down as BAM president

KUALA LUMPUR: BA of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria is considering reversing his decision to resign from his post later this month.

This follows an appeal from Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.

Yeoh released a statement on social media today urging Norza to reconsider his decision.

The minister wants to minimise disruptions to the Road to Gold programme's badminton players ahead of the Paris Olympics next year since most of the athletes belong to that sport.

Yeoh and Norza are co-chairs of the RTG programme.

Norza, who also heads the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), announced in August that he would resign as BAM president by the end of the year.

However, Norza said he will consult with his BAM council on Saturday before making a decision.

"I will reconsider (resigning) because she (Yeoh) is the minister, and I respect her," said Norza yesterday.

"Secondly, I work very well with her, especially in the RTG committee.

"Give me a few days (to decide). We are having a BAM council meeting on Saturday, and I would like to get feedback.

"The decision, however, lies in my hands because my tenure (term) only ends in 2025."

Norza has held the BAM post since 2017.

In her statement, Yeoh said: "RTG was established with two co-chairs to ensure its survival amidst sudden leadership changes in the Youth and Sports Ministry and OCM.

"Having said that, I hope Norza will reconsider his decision to step down as BAM president.

"The Paris Olympics is just months away, and badminton forms the majority block of participating athletes in the RTG setup.

"We need to focus and minimise disruptions during such crucial preparation time."

There are currently nine badminton players in the RTG programme — Ng Tze Yong, Aaron Chia, Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin, Teo Ee Yi, Pearly Tan, M. Thinaah, Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei.

RTG is an elite athlete preparation programme to provide cream-of-the-crop athletes with the additional support to challenge for gold in Paris, LA2028 and other major international competitions.

In addition to sports science, competition exposure, equipment and coaching support, athletes under RTG also receive an additional monthly allowance of RM3,000.

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