Malaysia’s No.1 badminton singles player, Lee Zii Jia has officially quit the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and will be taking the next steps towards going professional.
This was confirmed by Team Malaysia in a tweet by the BAM president, Tan Sri Norza Zakaria, who has received his resignation on 11 January.
Meanwhile, sports fans have responded to the news, saying that Lee Zii Jia had left the organisation for good, while some expressed their disappointment with BAM as they failed to keep one of the most high-profile young badminton players in recent times.
Some also said that BAM needs to get rid of the deadwood in the organisation and at the ministerial level before the nation’s badminton can make any real progress.
Following Lee Zii Jia’s resignation, fans were also asked to scrutinize what BAM has done to improve the squad since Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s retirement in 2019.
On the other hand, fans had compared BAM to other sports bodies notably the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and blamed FAM for Malaysia’s woeful standard in international football.
At the same time, BAM president Norza Zakaria has told FMT that Lee has left the organisation as he could not take the pressure, adding that he wants to achieve his plans according to his own pace.
“We tried to persuade him and tried to negotiate but his team and family were adamant,” Norza said.
Nonetheless, this confirms the rumours of Lee’s intention to quit BAM recently and turn professional.
As of Wednesday (19 Jan), Lee insisted that he is still a national player and said, “If I’m a rebel, you won’t see me here at the training centre today.”
Lee is ranked 7th in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Rankings in the men’s singles category. He is also the third Malaysian men’s singles shuttler to win the All England title this century.
We wish Zii Jia all the best of luck with his journey towards going pro!