Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One day in the life of a former Perak chess official

If you are like me, these snapshots should prove interesting. The burning questions in my head then were...

What is an NGO? What does a chess NGO do? Why do some diehards cling to their posts so tenaciously? After all, it's non-profit right? No one makes money right? So why fight so hard to stay on when you are clearly not contributing? Why fight so hard to get in?

What really happens in their meetings? Why can't Malaysia get her first GM? (Surely we can if Bangladesh and so many other smaller and poorer nations can.) What has happened to all the talented chess players I have seen as a parent over the years? Those feisty fighters, who battled so hard over the board.

After all, I see chess as something for the thinking man/woman. Chess brings together some of our best minds... something our country badly needs.

So on that fateful day, March 15th 2009, I took the plunge to try and find the answer to those questions. (To understand the whole, one must first understand the parts.) I stood for election in PICA, losing the President's post by 2 votes. But that's not the story.

In this series, I will tell you what actually happens in the committee. You can be the fly on the wall. The stories will come in little snippets as and when I have the time to write. I will tell you how decisions are made, and what the motives are behind those decisions. I hope to show what happens when a noble and thinking mental sport is overtaken by non-thinking and irrationality.

I also hope you'll gain as much in understanding from this exercise as I did. That you will see how an Association that was promulgated to serve the community became one that rules by tyranny. How members have been hoodwinked into thinking that these officials hold power over their children and need not act responsibly or be held accountable. And that you will come to realise that, in finality, ultimate authority rests with YOU as a member of that Association - for by law, the Association belongs to YOU, the officials are merely caretakers you have entrusted to serve on your behalf.

Please think about this: If our best thinkers can be hoodwinked or frightened into meek compliance, how will this augur for the future of our country? How would it make Malaysia Boleh?

So look out for this series. I will start with the first writeup soon. Caveat: The series essentially covers my experience in Perak and is not meant to cast aspersions on many dedicated chess officials who do not conduct themselves in this manner. And no, I do not have all the answers but I have certain insights that may be helpful.

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