Mon, 13 Jun 1994

Ciputra awards bonuses to Uber, Thomas Cuppers

JAKARTA (JP): The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) said they will not interfere in the internal policy of each club who are giving rewards to its shuttlers who were on the winning Thomas Cup and Uber Cup squads.

PBSI secretary general RAJ Gosal said yesterday that the national badminton body did not believe that the bonuses would dishearten shuttlers whose clubs were unable to provide enormous prizes.

Gosal was commenting on a gift worth Rp 400 million (US$187,176) given by renowned construction tycoon Ciputra to four members of Indonesia's badminton teams. The four shuttlers came from the Jakarta-based Jaya Raya badminton club owned by the construction tycoon.

"We'll let other clubs follow in Ciputra's footstep if they want to do so," said Gosal.

World champion Susi Susanti, rising star Mia Audina and doubles specialist Finarsih, who powered the Indonesian team to regain the women's Uber Cup title after 19-year lapse, and men's doubles player Bambang Suprianto received the bonuses during a victory celebration in Ciputra-owned Tarumanegara university on Friday.

Ciputra, apparently trying to avoid annoying his relationship with Soerjadi, chairman of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI), had earlier denied providing cash rewards for the shuttlers.

The chairman had earlier declared that the PBSI would serve as the judge who would equally distributes bonuses to each Indonesia's triumphant Thomas and Uber Cuppers. Soerjadi said the policy would prevent social hatred among the players.

PBSI gave each of the Indonesian Thomas Cup and Uber Cup players Rp 25 million ($11,700) in cash several days after their victories, but Soerjadi refused to call the gift bonuses.

Susi led the Indonesian Uber Cup team in blocking China from a sixth successive victory with a 3-2 win last month. Bambang and Rudy Gunawan won the first doubles match in Indonesia's 3-0 rout over defending champion Malaysia. The victory gave the country its first title after 10-year wait.

None of the four badminton stars were willing to explicitly confirm the rewards to Kompas daily on Friday, saying that they were committed to keeping their mouths shut. They finally disclosed the open secret after they made agreement with each other that they would share any possible effects of their comment.

While Bambang, Finarsih and Mia were given houses, Susi preferred receiving cash, saying that she had earlier been awarded a house by Ciputra early this year.

"I will deposit the money for my future," Susi, the winner of all major titles, said. (amd)