Any community or body of people needs a head. Its the conductor of activity and ideas. In Malaysian chess we have MCF and its affiliates. I will constrain my analysis to MCF and PICA (State Affiliate) as I have insights into both bodies. The health of PICA is in some ways tied to the leadership in MCF.
To this very day I hear incessant criticism and many attempts to bypass this organisation. The body seems to want to try any contortion to rid itself of a head that it believes does not serve them.
This is what I see.
Judging from the anger and bitterness prevailing I believe this opinion has some truth. Looking at the current state of Malaysian chess there is basis. But wearing the Counsellors lens, I believe that many current opinions are unprocessed. We are still looking from past traumas. So much so we can not clearly see current reality.
Allow me to account from my own personal experience. I first got involved with the Associations when I heard about Greg. He was then the new Secretary. I heard that when he was in Malacca during the MSSM, he invited the Perak players there to play in the Malaysian close as Perak was not sending a team that year. This was the first initiative I had seen in Chess till that point and I was heartened by it. As a result of this example I became more active in PICA.
Let me list other events that I see as positive action. (not complete or in any strict chronological order)
1. During my term in PICA, we had our first JV with MCF and we trained over 20 arbiters in swiss manager in Perak.
2. The first MCF/Parent dialogue in Penang.
3. The first written selection criteria.
4. The first letter to an affiliate asking for an explanation for an unconstitutional sacking.
5. The first space given an Academy for a National training event. (Asean)
6. The first National rapid event conducted at UTP.
7. The first MSSM/MCF and Academy event in the form of Masterskill Scholastic event also in Perak.
8. Greg also has the Vision to recognise that technical is not enough. Hence the appointment of a mind coach in Asean.
9. Etc. etc.
I see a pathfinder and a man of courage in this efforts. Remember I said all evaluation needs to be balanced and fair. So this work needs to be balanced against the shortcomings.
We need to let go of past traumas, of which I believe there were many or it would not account for todays anger. Leave the past in the past or it will infect the present. If we can instead see how we can aid the forward movement then that will be a good step to take.
Aiding forward movement does not mean that we whitewash present weaknesses. Those weaknesses have to be addressed. Higher awareness in the community is the best check and balance. The present leadership is not strong or consistent enough and they still do not have the necessary knowledge to bring Malaysian chess forward fast enough to compete.
But there has been movement and we need to acknowledge that. We need to learn to seperate past abuses from present initiatives. For a good example look at PICA, it has almost no new ideas. It hangs on to the old regime with a death grip. Perhaps that is why UTP was not managed by them.
If the leadership in MCF resembles the leadership in PICA, I would suggest we end the blogs and outside initiatives till we find a way to bypass MCF. Because then all efforts to raise this community would be wasted. But I dont think this is the case so far. It appears to me that the old and the new are still locked in a struggle. And that is what is causing some of the reverses. So we need to identify which is which and decide where to place our effort. But correct effort. With correct effort there is change in a direction. Otherwise we are just spinning our wheels.
That is why First GM will not sponsor till the shortcoming in Asean is addressed. Accountability. That is why I suggest that the players put forward a proposal for proper training before National representation. There needs to be accountabilty on all sides. Otherwise we will see a continuation of what is happening. The players will come back and blame MCF and MCF will blame the players. This needs to stop. This is so obviously flawed and yet we cannot come to a decision to change this. To reach that decision we have to work collectively. We need to break out of the yoke of divide and rule. We are a community. The head cannot move alone and the legs cannot do without a head.
If we can quieten down the noise and come from reason, we can have that change.