KUALA LUMPUR – World No. 7 and now banned national shuttler Lee Zii Jia has reportedly turned down a whopping RM1 million annual salary offered to him by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in an attempt to persuade him to stay on.
A source close to BAM told Berita Harian that the counter-offer was made during a negotiation session with the 23-year-old after he submitted his resignation letter on Jan 11 to turn pro.
RM1mil salary offer- First time in BAM’s history
It also revealed that this was the first time in BAM’s history that such a lucrative amount has been offered to a national player.
Even Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who contributed to the country’s many victories, had never gotten such an offer.
“This proves how much BAM treasures Zii Jia and appreciates his talent. He is also considered as an important asset to them.”
However, the source admitted that the RM1 million offer is still insufficient in comparison to what Lee will receive if he becomes an independent player.
“BAM has its own financial constraints and cannot make an offer that’s beyond its ability, but it has done all it can to make Zii Jia stay. Nonetheless, he remained firm in his decision to leave the national team.
“If he accepted BAM’s offer, he would be paid RM83,333 per month, which isn’t inclusive of the benefits provided by BAM for its players, aside from the prize money awarded to those who win tournaments,” it said.
It has also been alleged that Lee has signed a seven-year contract with a Taiwanese sports equipment company, where he’s expected to be paid approximately AS$400,000 (RM1.674mil) a year.
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Editor: Sarah Yeoh