Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Open Letter to Dato Tan- P2

Part 1, here.

Dear Dato,

You asked me for names and I do not believe in evasion. So I will answer you directly and give you my reasons as well.

Allow me to offer some background first. At the mention of Greg and Hamid, I find that almost no one can see them clearly. The old timers are clouded by deep anger over what was done or perceived to be done to them by Hamid during his time. And the newer ones are still rankling from recent offence or perceived offences by Greg. And so a few are scouring up and down to find a replacement.

I differ in opinion. I think Greg should stay as Secretary and Hamid should leave MCF. And the basic assumptions for my reasoning is found in the first link of Part 1 of my letter. Here.  The proviso being that we have a new President.

Let me explain why. The post of Secretary is too important to be given to a newbie without further setbacks in bringing Malaysian chess to the next level. But why Greg and not Hamid? In the many many times I have interacted with both, I find that Hamid just cannot see any of the problems besetting Malaysian chess. And we need a Secretary who can not only see but also solve the issues. Furthermore Hamid is just a tournament man and has no clue about development. And without development we will drop further and further behind.

Besides we already have people doing a lot of tournaments in Malaysia. So Hamid belongs to the business of tournament development and he should be allowed to compete with the rest on a level playing field to bring in better tournaments.

MCF should focus more on just doing National events and development. I have suggested that the Secretary be paid a salary. I believe sufficient funds can be generated from just doing national events particularly if the technical part is manned by volunteers. I am sure those with successful tournaments will not begrudge support to the National body for the love of chess. A further income to MCF can be gotten by charging big tournament organisers a levy for arranging the fide ratings etc.

I believe this structure will minimise conflicts of interest and ensure that MCF money for development is not leaked out of the coffers.

I agree with many that Greg has abused his power as Secretary but I view the problem as one that can be solved by prudent management. This is my suggestion. Along with his salary there should also be an oversight committee which will chart the balanced development of training as well as a balanced array of tournaments so that both the hobbyists and the serious competitors needs can be catered for. MCF will also need an audit committee to investigate suspect tournaments and this committee needs to also be invested with the authority to bring disciplinary action. The overall committee can look into policies and guidelines so we don't find errant organisers banning national players without grounds anymore etc.

This, together with a more defined role for the Secretary should keep things in check.

Our greatest danger now is a return to the Hamid era where no players, junior or senior gets to represent Malaysia without Hamid's ok simply because there were no written criteria. That era must be left behind us in order to move forward. This is my sincere opinion and evaluation done with as much objectivity as I am capable of. I have no personal axes to grind. In fact Greg has done more harm to FGM than Hamid ever did. But we need Greg's skills in development and we need the last vestige of our toxic past removed by asking Hamid to become independent of MCF. I am confident he will succeed without being tied to the apron strings of MCF. He has no role there.

I believe both Greg and Hamid can accept those conditions and still remain in chess. If you think about it, they have nowhere else to go. I will write my final part and conclusion tomorrow. Till then, all my best.

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