KUALA LUMPUR: It is not even one year but Indonesia’s Paulus Firman has quit as Malaysia’s badminton coach.
On Thursday, the soft-spoken Paulus, who joined Malaysia’s stable as a coach in January this year, said that he had submitted his resignation letter to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) at the end of October.
Paulus would have loved to continue coaching but some family problems back home in Jakarta has forced him to review his status with BAM. He will serve out his contract until the end of this month before returning to Indonesia.
“It is just unfortunate that I have to leave. I have handed in my resignation letter. I have to put the interest of my family first and that is the only reason behind my decision,” said Paulus, who was a women’s doubles coach with the All-Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) prior to his arrival in Malaysia.
“I know it is only a short stint here but I have enjoyed working with the Malaysian shuttlers,” said Paulus, who coached Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and several other men’s doubles players.
When asked what his plans are and whether he would join Indonesia’s national team under the guidance of national coaching director Rexy Mainaky, he said: “For now, my plan is just to go back home.”
Without Paulus in the BAM set-up, Pang Cheh Chang is set to oversee all the men’s doubles pairs. Besides Kien Keat-Boon Heong, there are seven other pairings and it will be a huge task for Cheh Chang to handle alone.
The seven pairs are Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Goh V Shem-Teo Kok Siang, Lim Khim Wah-Ow Yao Han, Teo Ee Yi-Chooi Kah Ming, Yew Hong Kheng-Tan Yip Jiun, Nelson Heg Wei Keat-Tan Wee Gieen and Tai An Khang-Low Juan Shen.
Paulus is the second key person to leave the BAM set-up under the new administration headed by Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff.
In September, Tan Aik Mong gave up his position as the BAM’s Talent Management Group (TMG) director after 18 days on the job because all his new plans were rejected.
Currently, Tengku Mahaleel is acting as the TMG director.
National singles coach Rashid Sidek also quit the national team in September because he did not like the changes made by Aik Mong then. However, upon the advice of Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and following Aik Mong’s decision to leave, Rashid rejoined the national fold.
Rashid currently trains the men’s singles players with Tey Seu Bock and Hendrawan.
For the record, Paulus is one of the many foreign coaches in the last 13 years who have had a taste of coaching in Malaysia before leaving. The others are Rexy, Yoo Yong-sung, Park Joo-bong, Morten Frost and the late Indra Gunawan.