One piece that is making the rounds is that one of Singapore's rising foreign badminton talents Riky Widianto, 17, has quit the Singapore national team and went back to his home country of Indonesia.
Doubles specialist Riky Widianto, 17, said that he was told to either take up Singapore citizenship or go back to Indonesia. Riky tendered his resignation to the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and flew home to Indonesia earlier this month. Now Singaporeans seem spilt about this issue. Some agreed with badminton officials who wanted Riky to be a Singaporean as soon as possible (no reason spending money training someone who might not represent the country in the future), whereas others understand Riky’s position (changing nationality is a big decision especially at 17). Some has even blame Singapore’s foreign talent scheme for sports, saying that it is nothing but buying talent to win medals for Singapore.
First thing first: My view on the foreign talent scheme is that it IS buying medals for Singapore, and I have no problem with it.
With that out of the way, I can’t understand why Singaporeans are upset with either SBA or Riky on this issue. To me, this is one of those times when neither side is wrong or right. Both side got their views on this and they are all valid. 17 is too young to decide on changing your nationality and SBA is right in wanting Riky to commit to representing Singapore before spending more money on the young talent.
To me it’s a little unfair to blame either the SBA or Riky on the issue. Even criticism of the foreign talent scheme was a little unfair. You can’t argue with results and Singapore did get an Olympic silver medal from the scheme. Anyone want to throw that medal back into the ocean and wipe that medal off the record books? Not too many Singaporeans will want that I feel.
Singaporeans should cool down on this issue because there’s no right or wrong. Just different people with their own different views.