Thursday, January 3, 2013

How do we build a strong MCF- Part 1.

Ref: Here.

The overall consensus is that MCF has failed us. You will get that consensus if you talk to people but that may not be the perception if you visit the blogs. There you will find a few people with vested interests that will still defend MCF. If you visit Jimmy's blog you will see anonymous comments that paint a different picture. It is long known that most of those comments are written by Jimmy himself. So it's a game of distorting perception.

I have heard ideas ranging from bringing in a million dollars, changing the President, sacking one or two individuals, doing things with a pure heart, starting another Federation etc etc etc. I think this is a problem for us. We all want change but we cannot agree what needs changing and so despite our overwhelming numbers all our energies are dissipated moving in many different directions and those few people that is actively destroying chess in Malaysia can continue what they are doing simply because although they are very few in numbers, they can work in coordinated collusion.

So I am going to attempt an accurate evaluation here in the hope that we can agree on where the problem is and so concentrate our energies into dealing with the right things.

So let me go back to some relevant experiences in PICA. What I will do is to state the event and observation and then try to draw some conclusions. And I will be doing that throughout my narration. And then I will finally give some suggestions as to how we can make effective change.

Ok. Back to PICA. In 2009, I contested for the post of President. I did not covet the post but I was really fed up with the way they were fixing the selection of State players etc. And I did not have a clue of what I was getting myself into.

So I had a sort of a team. Call us Team B. And the incumbents were Team A. Team B was aggressive and wanted change. And Team A wanted status quo. In the final composition we were fairly balanced in numbers and authority. And so began the problems. Team B members were pushing for an Academy and wanted Perak to have its own GM. And so I said to them, lets be realistic. Lets go to KL and other places to see what training at a high level really means. Lets see the level of competition there before we embark on something so ambitious. You see none of the Team B members have been out of Perak to compete before. And I had only just started going out to see the wider world of Malaysian chess.

Team A said that it was impossible for Perakians to compete against the likes of KL, Selangor etc. And so we were stuck arguing and blocking each other. So what is my point? There are a few as I will explain more later. But the first point is:

A State Association is populated by amateurs. Anybody can be elected with all sorts of varying experience and understanding. You need to work with whoever is in the committee whether they have realistic ideas or not. Whether they are defeatist or not. That is the nature of an NGO. And in the following year those members can be voted out and new committee members voted in.

Let us try to deeply understand this. You see the actual role of the State Association is to regulate the chess activities in the State. Not to form an Academy. I realised this much later. State Associations just do not have the expertise to start an Academy. That knowledge is too specialised.

So what should they be doing? Isn't it grass root work? Age group events, State Championships. They are manned by volunteers.

Are you starting to see a problem here? What happens when a trainer who is half baked forms an Academy that is also the State Associations Academy? What if there are also other independent trainers in the State? Can you see that this now becomes a conflict of interest?

Now if you reflect back to what has been happening at the National level over the past few years can you draw some parallels?

More in P2 tomorrow.

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