Monday, January 4, 2010

Chess for 1Malaysia

I love chess tournaments. I usually leave recharged in the belief of 1Malaysia. There I see our kids... chinese, malay and indians and everyone in between :), "fighting" it out in healthy competition. The fight is for a better idea, a better solution and the board vindicates the winner. I see our kids shaking each others hands, win or lose. Sharing their ideas. (In chess etiquette one does not leave the board without showing your opponent where he went wrong). And so I see the development of gentlemanly behaviour and the building of character. And this revives my belief that Malaysia Boleh. In these children I see our future.

So I struggle hard against those that would corrupt this future for our children. Against those that would keep us divided. I also see chess as the mental sport that will prepare our children for a globalised world. Chess teaches thinking skills, something that is sadly lacking in our schools. Chess shows you how to apply knowledge and not just be the reservoir of mere information.

We have the knowledge to produce the first GM in Malaysia if we learn to work together. So let the first GM be a 1Malaysia project.


  1. It is interesting that you think chess can help promote the concept of 1Malaysia. There are many definitions floating out there, people have different definition of what 1Malaysia is about. For me, 1Malaysia is about being inclusive. And I do agree that chess does seem to have encouraged kids of different races and background to come together and play/compete against each other. The only discerning difference between players is not their colour or economic background, but more their skill level. I think presently there are too few opportunities for our children to come together in such a positive environment. (And not just the child, but the parents too!)

    As a parent I like to see my child in a learning environment. I think Hamzah playing chess exposes him to constant learning. He not only learns thinking skills but sometimes more importantly, he also learns how to socialize with others for he has to learn how to accept wins and defeat gracefully. I think chess helps Hamzah become a confident little boy. He doesn’t look at the colour or age of his opponent (hmm.. if the person is older he does sort of grimace, afterall Hamzah is only 8y old ), he is only interested in a good chess match.

  2. Thank you for your comments Adzlin. Yes I do see chess as a 1Malaysia project. The adults organise the chess tournaments, make sure that the conditions are fair to all (our roles) and then leave it to the kids. They can find out what 1Malaysia means. We may have too much baggage ourselves to see this clearly. Then all these thinkers can go out and forge a brave new world. A new Malaysia without our mistakes. :)

  3. A large portion of annual budget for sports and youth development has been shifted to promote 1Malaysia at ministerial levels.Yhe results is the impending cancellation of 11 sports in 2010 MSSM programmes.Before this 1Malaysia,we played chess in a muhhibah spirit
    and we dont need 1 Malaysia to teach us how people of diff races should be playing chess.the only difference with 1Malaysia is that we dont have MSSM chess for 2010. Pls leave the 1Malaysia promotion to the politicians coz it is just a political game.

  4. Thank you for your comment. It has reminded me of the need to keep politics away from sports. What I meant was that chess is a fantastic way to promote all that underlies what 1Malaysia should mean. A wise man once told me "Raymond, so long as the soap washes clean, it doesnt matter what brand you call it". As a result of that lesson I now apply the same to the meaning of God in my life, if it holds the truth, can be seen in the light and comes from love, then it comes from God. If not it doesnt. Simple, but that has helped me many times. So 1Malaysia is a brand but for me, if it brings the people together, giving all dignity and integrity, then that is 1Malaysia. Otherwise it does not matter what you call it, it is not 1Malaysia. Also hoping that someone who holds those values dear will see chess as a good thing to sponsor.