New president of the Badminton Association of Indonesia Gita Wirjawan was finally inaugurated on Friday in the National Training Camp at Cipayung, East Jakarta, pledging to review players and coaches’ compensation schemes.
Gita, Indonesia’s minister of trade, said he was aware of what the coaches and players were paid and he was very concerned about the matter.
“Looking at their salaries, I have no wonder why our coaches opt to take coaching jobs abroad. We have to talk about the matter in a rational manner,” he said.
Recently, national coaches filed a complaint about their wages, saying they received significantly less than their peers in other countries. For example, mixed-doubles coach Richard Mainaky, who helped Liliyana Natsir and Nova Widianto win the world championships in 2005 and 2007, is paid Rp 20 million ($2,076) per month while the Badminton Association of England reported paid his brother, Rexy Mainaky, $5,000 per month in 2005.
Gita promised that the PBSI would use current world rankings as a standard for salary. This means better ranked shuttlers will get higher salaries. This also applies to the coaching staff.
Asked if he would devote more time to the PBSI, Gita said he had already made a commitment and would continue to visit the training camp on a regular basis.
“As minister, I have to devote my time to the country. But, I have given my commitment to spare some time to visit Cipayung,” he said.“ I will pay a visit at least once a week.”
The athletes welcomed the inauguration of PBSI’s new leadership. They have claimed high hopes for Gita because he has recruited many former national shuttlers to serve on staff.
National shuttler Fran Kurniawan Teng said he was confident that the new leadership could deliver results.
“Looking at how he carries himself and the list of his staff, I’m optimistic that we will feel more comfortable, ” Fran said.
He added that they hoped to get assurances on their tournament schedule. “There was uncertainty before. Sometimes there were last-minute cancelations from PBSI. It distracted us mentally. Usually, PBSI cancels our participation due to two things: injury or visa problems,” he said.