Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Amateur and Melaka, a gift to the nation or something else?

There is something unique about Asian Amateur and Melaka. The prize money for Asian Amateur was provided by the Asian Chess Federation and the prize money for Melaka was provided by Fide in the form of the Campomanes memorial. Ref: here.

So lets try and do some critical thinking here. These are not small sums. This monetary support from Fide and the Asian Chess Federation is given directly to MCF ie under MCF control.

Now is it possible that the money was meant for the development of chess in Malaysia? What would Campomanes have wanted since it is done in his memory in the case of Fide?

If the support was meant for chess development in Malaysia, what is the situation if that money is now diverted for something else and MCF is left with zero in the coffers?

We have established earlier that MCF can run these events themselves as they have the internal expertise, contacts and resources. We also know that MCF is mandated by its own constitution to develop chess in Malaysia. And we know that there are many things that MCF is not doing due to a purported lack of funds since there is "no money" in chess.

I have argued that there is sufficient funds even if MCF only does National events and if even that is not enough then to charge endorsement fees to private International events like Malaysian close and KL Open. Endorsement fees are legitimate since MCF will have to do liaison work with other chess federations to boost participation.

So these 2 tournaments mentioned are extras. Windfalls.

Now the question remaining is that whether the windfall is for the nation as a whole or for private gain.

If the conclusion is that the money is meant for the nation and not for private gain then any official/s found diverting the funds from its true intention could be found guilty of racketeering. And if the money went into MCF accounts and is misused then the officials could be found guilty of Criminal Breach of Trust, CBT.

Note: For those of you not so familiar with proposals, putting up sufficient prize money to make a tournament attractive and yet be able to run the event without cost over runs is one of the dilemma's private organisers face. So these 2 events is just pure gravy for MCF if the money is not diverted.

The other questions are what happened to the money that went into MCF from the Asian Amateur and who is in control of the bank account that players pay into for Melaka.

Of course we also want to know how much money MCF makes from this windfall if the money is meant for the nation because then we all have a stake in it. So we have a right to the accounts.

I am saying that these events warrant investigation. I am saying that there appears to be a strong case of failure in leadership. I am also saying that it is the responsibility of the delegates to the AGM of MCF to ask these questions on behalf of its members. It is also their responsibility to elect credible leadership.

If this can be done we will find that overnight we will be well on our way to being a strong chess nation. We will be well on our way to that GM.

But this will need courage and foresight on the part of the State chess affiliates. They need to see this issue clearly. Whether to join the corruption by colluding with the MCF officials involved or to stand up for their members or players under their care. For the money that MCF makes also belong to the State Affiliates as MCF is mandated to develop them.

Note: Personally I think the money is meant for the nation. What do you think? Doesn't this warrant an investigation?

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