I was told about a meeting by a group of parents about their concerns not being heard by MCF, even talk about setting up an alternative. This is my take from my short exposure to Association politics in Perak.
Who are the stakeholders in chess? Chess Officials, organisers, coaches, bloggers, parents and lastly the players. Each has a role, without which the structure crumbles. In an ideal structure the stakeholder that puts in the most has a greater say. So what is the situation in chess? Arguably the largest stakeholder would be either the parents or the players. In terms of finance, time spent nurturing their child or the hours spent sweating it out in tournaments, training and preparation.
And who has the greatest say? The chess officials. They determine who gets to play, who runs the tournaments, which tournaments etc.
So is this correct? I say yes. But, but, but... I say yes because they volunteer their time to do all these things. NGO's are essentially non profit so the time they spent doing these things are unpaid for. Yes but with a caveat. Some officials double up as organisers, coaches etc. This is not a bad thing necessarily but it's a double-edged sword. To get the first GM, our organisers and coaches need to make money or they won't stay in the game. Money is needed to build resources and skills.
But it is a double-edged sword nonetheless, if these organisers and coaches are placed in a situation where there may be a conflict of interest in the NGO's.
So we come back to the issue at hand. We need our official bodies to make decisions without fear or favour. But how can this be achieved?
The main one is transparency of information. But how can this be achieved? Let us study the structure of MCF. MCF answers to its affiliates. (MCF just had their AGM, only State officials are allowed to attend and vote). So if you want a say, you must say it through the affilate associations. We need to deeply understand this.
So if we want change, change has to take place there. Stop baying at the moon. If you have a big stake and you want a say, go to the State Association and cast you vote. Stand for election if you have the time. If you can only vote, make sure you vote responsibly, vote for the people who love chess and not for the ones who love power without contribution. I have some interesting tidbits of my time in Perak. Maybe I'll share it here so you know for yourself the shenanigans that go on there and know what to watch out for.
Happy New Year and this is the resolution: I will make my vote and voice in my State Association count this year.
Note: I am not qualified to talk about MCF. From my limited perspective they are doing a lot more than where I come from. And I find Greg Lau (Secretary) of MCF more responsive than most officials. Also I believe that to change the whole, we need to first change the parts which count. That is where I come from. If all the parts work, the whole will work. And the first GM will come. :) The floor is open to those who have better knowledge of MCF and its workings. This is your space. Use it.