Either Al-Amin or Norza has to pull out from race for top post

KUCHING: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) election date has been set for April 29 – but there will be no contest for the president’s post.

The BAM council met here yesterday and urged the two candidates – acting president Tan Sri Al-Amin Abdul Majid and deputy president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria – to come up with a solution before the election.

Although the council did not spell it out, it's clear that they want one of the candidates to pull out from the race.

Al-Amin and Norza are expected to meet Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and BAM patron Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and only one of the two candidates will then be endorsed as the new president.

Al-Amin said: “The council is of the opinion that both of us want the best for the association.

“Our styles are different, but our interests are in badminton.

United front: Acting BAM president Tan Sri Al-Amin Abdul Majid shaking hands with deputy president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria after the council meeting in Kuching yesterday. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

“Datuk Norza and I are good friends and we'll go through the process to come to a decision ... but I can't elaborate.

“We have three weeks to come out with a solution.”

Norza said that he respected the council’s decision to adhere to tradition as there has not been a contest in the BAM for the last 30 years.

“The council think that both individuals have their strengths and weaknesses and they appreciate the contributions that both have imparted,” said Norza.

“But we’re mindful of the tradition in BAM and are aware of the concerned voices from outside about this election. We’ve both agreed to seek the best solution.”

Asked if the solution would be for one of them to withdraw from the presidential race, Norza said: “It’s premature to speculate. We've been given a clear mandate by the council to do one or two things in the next few weeks ... the best decision is to put the institution above the individual.”

One of the council members commented: “We do not want a contest because it will divide the association. We’ve done well so far as an association and we want to keep it that way.”

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