KUALA LUMPUR: Former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei is looking forward to the appointment of a new Sports Minister, who he hopes will be hands on.

"It is a breath of fresh air, and I look forward to the new Sports Minister," said Chong Wei at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) on Friday.

"As we know, former minister Khairy (Jamaluddin) did a great job.

"Under Khairy, athletes, who did well at the 2016 Rio Olympics, enjoyed great incentives. Malaysia also emerged overall champions at last year’s Kuala Lumpur Sea Games and we also produced a number of world champions.

"We don't know when the new Sports Minister will be appointed, but I am sure he or she would want to do a great job too."

Chong Wei is now focused on the Thomas Cup in Bangkok on May 20-27.

“I will be one of the oldest players at the tournament, so I hope this will encourage our youngsters to step up.

“I am not sure on whether I will play in every tie in the group stage. It is for the coaches to decide.

“This tournament is also a good opportunity for players like Lee Zii Jia, Leong Jun Hao and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin to make breakthroughs.

“Everyone wants to win the Thomas Cup. It is the World Cup of badminton.

“Many say our team this time do not look strong, but we have defied the odds before. In 2014 (New Delhi), we made the final when many wrote us off.

“We need to build on our team spirit,” he added.

Malaysia, who are in Group D with defending champions Denmark, Russia and Algeria, last won the tournament in 1992 in Kuala Lumpur.



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