Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is a compromise possible?

I was informed that Dato Tan requested for a meeting with Zuhri yesterday. No, I do not know what transpired at that private meeting but I will hazard a guess. It seems apparent to me that Zuhri actually have the largest support from the States but he has been knocked out by the maneuverings. That can mean big trouble if there is no compromise. So how should we look at this if we truly have the interests of Malaysian chess at heart?

This is my personal perspective and views. 

When we play cards it is better to play with a full deck rather than half a deck. My opinion is that the Tan Sri and Greg team actually brought Malaysian chess to greater heights and Zuhri has the know how and interest to bring fiduciary sense to MCF. So that will be my dream team if they are able to work together. What I am saying here is that TS and Greg holds approximately half the deck and Zuhri holds the other half.

But that is now in the past or is it? Lets relook at the situation again.

How did things get so messed up? It appears to me that the old system was terribly flawed. Lets go back in time to around 2009 directly after I was sacked from PICA after trying to implement selection there. I met up with Greg who was newly appointed then and I shared my experiences of the difficulties to get any proper selection criteria implemented with the many forces against who wanted the old privilege system.

Putting in proper selection erodes the personal power of committee members and threatens the players who are used to getting the back doors. Over time the back door player's skills erode and they fear selection and challenge from upcoming players. And so a sophisticated way of knocking out potential challengers evolved. And Malaysian chess have had nearly 30 years of perfecting this system.

But Greg as the new secretary then was gung ho and wanted to make a difference. And so together we devised a way to get written selection into MCF with me working on the outside and getting the support of bloggers, parents etc while he worked within MCF against the old stalwarts as well as certain senior players who can't compete anymore. And we succeeded in getting written selection for NAG in 2010. The first written selection published for NAG actually first appeared on FGM blog as a way of pre-empting resistance from within the committee. We weathered the storm and it was allowed through since the senior players were not affected. But still it was a wedge into breaking the old system. That was in 2010.

In 2011, Greg on his own implemented the selection system for SEA games and all hell broke lose after Sumant, a Junior, training with FGM, won selection by beating Mok and drawing with Yee Weng after Jimmy had been preparing the ground for the Li Tian campaign by saying our Juniors were all washed out. And we saw our 2nd blog war. The first being the training of the Juniors going to Asean 2010 by a GM organised by us at FGM. 

So yes, we faced heavy resistance but we felt it was worth it if it brought improvement.

But something changed after that. And for the Olympiads 2012 we saw a total reversal in Greg's position. We saw the fraudulent selection. The question is why? Again this is my personal opinion. The pressures were rising and Jimmy controls the senior players and Peter feared losing relevance in the Malaysian scene as he was failing badly in virtually every aspect of his chess career. And somehow they were able to reach Greg. I suspect the major cause stems from the fact he is not paid and has insufficient independent income. It had been a very hard battle and both of us were attacked incessantly. I am not making excuses for Greg. I am merely trying to understand the turn of events.

What are the pressures on the MCF Secretary who does a job few people appreciate and which is damn hard and then not get paid? Not only that but he is constantly attacked from all sides with very little emotional or psychological support.

And then Zuhri stepped in and proposed that he would find a way to pay the Secretary. I thought then we had a possible solution to this dilemma.

But questions on the accounts touched raw nerves. And then it lead to heated words being exchanged. And that eventually lead to the Presidential challenge with Zuhri getting the majority support from the States who are also all fed up with the situation.

I see the system from the previous administration that is at fault and if we can all sit down then there must be a way out for all who truly want us to improve Malaysian chess and find a way to reach a compromise.

There should NOT be a succession plan as described by Peter. Here. This simply means that they have privately decided behind the backs and over the rights of the State Affiliates. MCF is an NGO and not a business. MCF belongs to all of us and not just to Peter. My personal opinion is that KLCA should focus on bringing KL up as a proper State Association before they have National aspirations. This smacks of the culture of back doors all again.

And we want to move from that right? We don't want to hear anymore stories of our senior players going overseas representing Malayisa, to sell books, make business contacts and not want to play chess, handphone ringing etc. We don't want to see Juniors promoted to represent Malaysia by PR campaigns and not by winning on the board here. We don't want to hear of bannings without grounds. We want Malaysian chess to be strong yes? If that is what we want then this AGM is very badly flawed and will probably take us backwards.

All of us have paid a heavy price investing in chess including FGM. So it is my fervent hope that sense will prevail and that Dato can use whatever influence he has to help correct this flawed AGM and move us forward and not backwards anymore.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.

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