The Ministry of Youth and Sports will take over the arrangement of travel and food for national players from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to avoid any mismanagement.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said with immediate effect, all travel arrangements and food for badminton players would be handled by the National Sports Council (NSC) to safeguard the welfare of the players.
"The decision was taken after a meeting with players at the Bukit Kiara indoor stadium two weeks ago," Ahmad Shabery told reporters here Thursday.
Ahmad Shabery said BAM were given special privilege to make their own travel and food arrangements although such arrangements for other associations was handled by NSC.
"When I met the players today, they said unlike other days, the food today was good due to my presence. Maybe the food caterer was trying to make extra profit by reducing the cost for supplying food to the players, compared with the allocated budget," he said.
To overcome the problem, NSC may engage a chef to look after the requirement of the players, when they are here or overseas, he said.
He added that it was a similar case when arranging travel for the players as BAM sourced for the cheapest flight which sometimes required connecting flights which can be a bane and tiring for the players.
Though BAM has claimed that such measures were taken to reduce costs, the association had always claimed such expenses from NSC, he said.
Asked of BAM secretary Ganga Rao's suspension two days ago, Ahmad Shabery said it was an internal association problem but hoped BAM would be able to resolve such matters as it should not derail the country's aspirations of winning the Thomas Cup, scheduled at Stadium Putra here from May 9-16.
"Maybe BAM are carrying out a restructuring exercise in their administration and we from the outside may not know any details," he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Shabery said athletes identified under the 'Road to London 2012' programme would have no limitation in their food intake as they needed good and healthy food to keep them going in search of their goals.
The 'Road to London 2012' programme was launched as part of the country's efforts to win the first Olympic gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.