Monday, March 19, 2012

"If you are scared, get out of business"

I remember those words clearly like it was yesterday. Those words were told to me by my late partner and mentor Dato Hisham Albakri, who was the architect for Pan Pacific, Bank Bumi Headquaters, National Library etc etc.

The context was this. I was preparing a contract and faxed the draft to Dato. In reply he made some changes. After 3 attempts I finally called him, in some frustration, to explain that the contract had been vetted by 3 lawyers.

In the conversation I said "Dato, this clause is necessary, I'm worried about ......"
In reply he said those words to me. "If you are scared, get out of business."

His basic lesson to me was you cannot pen in all your worries about things that may go wrong. You need to believe in your ability to solve problems as a businessman or else get out and seek employment.

How does this relate to our chess community?

I think those words also mean if you are scared don't play competitive chess, don't try to represent the Country via the backdoor. Give those who still have fight the opportunity to develop. Play chess as a hobby instead.

It also says, if you have entered in the business of chess then stay away from the associations. Don't milk them dry till they have no money to perform their task which is to serve the chess community.

We now have the situation where our chess activities fund business people who cannot compete in the open market. So the only way they can survive is by colluding with certain officials in associations.

These practices have kept us backwards for many years. If we want that GM, then we need the associations to do what they should do and the private organisers and academies should do what they should be able to do.

Note: For instance. MCF is unable to fund proper training for our players and yet they will sabotage any attempt to get the training to our players. I submit that this is because of the trainers in the association that feel threatened. Isn't that the only reasonable inference? The interests are co-mingled and this sets up a conflict that keeps us backwards simply because they cannot do it but they will also not allow anyone else to do it.

If they are scared to compete, I suggest they close down their businesses and join the associations as volunteers instead. But taking over associations for private interests or colluding with officials to strip the associations of their funds is not the right way.

On the other hand, if you joined an association for money making schemes, then I suggest you go into business where you can make all the money you want legally. If you are any good that is.

The associations are not there for you to strip of funds. They are there to serve the chess community. Hobbyists as well as serious competitors who want to go out there and fight the fight. So why are you taking money not meant for you?

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