THE heat is on for the BA of Malaysia (BAM) president’s post as the council meets in Kuching today to decide on the date of the annual general meeting (AGM) where an election is almost certain to take place.
As of now, both acting president Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abd Majid and deputy president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria have clearly signaled their intention to lead the national body, after incumbent president Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff announced he would not stand for another term.
What makes the possible election more interesting is that there is supposedly a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ which was made between outgoing president Tengku Mahaleel, Al Amin and Norza, before the latter went on sick leave two years ago.
It is understood that Tengku Mahaleel had named Norza to be his successor in the agreement.
Al Amin, who was the Malaysian Chef de Mission (CDM) at last year’s Rio Olympic Games, however, has denied he was party to the agreement.
So how will the council decide on who should be the president?
The last time an election took place was in 1985 when Tan Sri Elyas Omar ousted then incumbent president Tan Sri Khir Johari. Ever since then, BAM have always averted a contest when it came to the hot seat.
Perhaps one way would be for both parties to list their contribution so far and how it has helped in raising the standard of the sport. Affiliates can then have a clearer view, as to who would be best to lead them.
Based on observation, both Al Amin and Norza have done their fair share and it could go down to the wire but it is important to avoid any split or camps forming that will eventually bring down the national body.
Al Amin played an influential role in landing a RM24 million deal with telecommunication service provider Celcom, while Norza played a pivotal role in helping World No 1 Lee Chong Wei get to his best after a doping scandal in 2014.
Both Al Amin and Norza have worked well all this while, so it would be sad to see any split or an exodus of affiliates after the AGM which is expected to be held anytime between this month and June.
Under the BAM constitution, an election process can be done through two ways. One is a show of hands to support the candidate while another is through secret ballot.
Whatever the outcome today, council members must put aside any political or personal agendas and look at the bigger picture. The more important issue at hand is the state of the sport, and how to bring back the glory days of yesteryear.
And if there has to be an election, it should be allowed to take place in a healthy contest.
Al Amin has denied knowledge of the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ and believes he can contribute even more to BAM.
So does Norza and the best solution to the this would be a gentlemanly election with the delegates deciding who should lead BAM.