Reezal Merican ready to assist BAM if needed

Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican has promised to assist the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in organising the Malaysia Open and Malaysia Masters tournaments if needed.

He said that although organising international tournaments will be some time away (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), his ministry was confident it could be achieved via the “sports bubble” concept like was done for the two Thailand Open and BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour Finals in Bangkok recently.

Reezal Merican said that there was a likely possibility that he would meet BAM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria to discuss the matter in greater detail, including on the return on investment (ROI) accrued by the BA of Thailand in organising the three tournaments.

“If there is a need and opportunity for sports like badminton to be assisted by the Youth and Sports Ministry, I will help. If we succeed in using the “sports bubble” concept, as per the template used by Thailand, perhaps we can do it (organise major tournaments).

“But it depends on the capacity and suitability of the organisers themselves because sometimes the cost can be very high,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

The media prior to this had reported that the fates of the Malaysia Open that is scheduled to be held from March 31- April 4 and Malaysia Masters (April 6-11) were hanging in the balance and that there is a big possibility that they might be postponed to June in view of the current Covid-19 situation in the country.

Reezal Merican added that his ministry had submitted recommendations and a new mechanism to the National Security Council (MKN) to reopen the sports sector.

It would enlist the “sports bubble” concept, including for organising domestic championships, he said. – Bernama