BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria. File Photo by Luqman Hakim Zubir

KUALA LUMPUR: In an effort to safeguard national interests, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) have decided to limit the participation of professional shuttlers to only Grand Prix tournaments and below.

After chairing the council meeting at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara on Saturday, BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria said: "To ensure national interests are protected, and that we have the best players in our setup, the council shall limit the tournament participation for state and independent players to only GP tournaments and below.

"Only BAM players are allowed to participate in Super Series and GP Gold.

"This will be implemented with immediate effect and does not apply to current non-BAM players, who have already played for at least one year in the main draw of a Super Series."

The independent players who are exempted from the new ruling are former BAM shuttlers Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Tan Boon Heong, Lim Khim Wah, K. Yogendran, Sannatasah Saniru and 2011 world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli.

"This new ruling will apply to every other player, but it is also to help encourage those who aspire to go higher to join BAM.

"We want to entice players from outside to come join us and make full use of our state-of-the-art facilities. This is our national service as we are a non-profit organisation.

"We also came up with this ruling as we don't want players leaving us just because they feel we are too hard on them," added Norza.

Other matters discussed at the meeting include a review of players' monthly salary, world rankings and tournament bonuses.

According to Norza, the current monthly salary scale (RM2,500-RM15,000) will be reviewed each year, while rankings (RM2,000-RM22,500) and tournament bonuses (RM6,000-RM45,000) will be paid out quarterly.

"BAM will introduce a new robust players' incentive scheme that will reward performance and prevent complacency.

"This new scheme will come into effect on Jan 2018, and will be reviewed yearly.

"Business class flights and single rooms will be for players with legend status, but that will be according to our definition," he added.

Other matters discussed:

*BAM will grant full membership to Putrajaya BA; and associate membership to Labuan BA to ensure more stakeholders are together with them.

*In line with BAM's vision and mission, there will be a review on the constitution and rules and regulations.

*BAM will increase the allowance rate for local technical officials at local tournaments by 25-70 per cent from 2018.

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