Thursday, March 21, 2013

Orientation Part 2.

First part. Here.

The clash of culture between the corporate boys in the past and the rest of the chess community may come from the different perceptions and expectations.

Please note that this series is inspired by and written at the request of the vast majority of the chess community and not from the players of the AGM.

The chess community notes that the AGM was actually won by us if not for the fact that, among other factors, even the vote of the assistant secretary, who is not a member of the committee, was allowed to be cast that allowed for a tie in the first round of voting. And also despite the vast outlay of money in sponsoring the rooms of the delegates as well as a big makan by the incumbent. So the current committee does not enjoy the full confidence of the chess community yet.

However we desire to build a bridge to a partnering culture now that you are our national leadership for the betterment of Malaysian chess in this attempt at dialogue by highlighting the following to you.

The most recent event that lead to this open revolt was the blatant manner that the Olympiad selection was subverted and that the players that represented Malaysia was determined by the sponsor and not by MCF in a proper selection criteria. This is a gross violation of our rights. The rationale behind this seems to come from the input of tainted technical advice by senior players or ex-players with private agendas.

The rest of the chess community believes that our own independent advisors of strong active GM's and IM's that have raised world class teams are of a much higher quality.

This insidious factor has lead to distortions in the development of our junior as well as senior players. Lets take for example Yeoh Li Tian. While nobody disputes that he is a strong Junior, he has not yet achieved even top 6 at National Junior before being tauted as strongest Junior and he was in fact beaten by 2 other Juniors at National Close before he was given the place at the Olympiads. So we contend that if this opportunity was not taken from the stronger Juniors at that time, then we may be seeing other Juniors doing well now in the International circuit. This preferential treatment also extended to being the only Malaysian Junior informed and allowed to go to the Zonals. This extra exposure over the rights of the other Juniors is causing unfair distortions.

We also assert that this distortion is further complemented by psychological attacks on the other Juniors on the blog of a senior player, ref: Here, and also that blatant discrimination of this nature acts as a major demotivating force to the development of chess in Malaysia.

We ask for urgent redress and remedy to this situation.

We also contend that the investments of parents are the mainstay of the chess community and that our contributions in total far outstrips the contributions of the sponsors so far and for that reason we find ourselves outraged by decisions without regard to this fact. Lets take for example this incident.

At Malaysia/Sing Jan1, 2011, where Malaysia won for the first time in 10 years against Singapore, Peter arrived on the second day having agreed previously to bring sponsorship to this event of RM1,500 as incentives for the players. While this was a good gesture by the sponsor, we found Peter's attempt to then flex his muscle by trying to change the terms of the incentive announced the day before at the last moment when Malaysia was trailing badly and we needed a big fight to come back, extremely insensitive. Consider the fact that each player and parent, individually, spent far more than that and we were a very large contingent of maybe 60 people, then that sort of arrogance is in very bad taste. And this event has further coloured the negative perceptions of the chess community.

When I last followed this, around a year after the event, the incentive had not even been paid. I am not sure of the current status.

These are but 2 examples among a host of other examples of different perceptions and expectations and it is our hope that the new committee will address these concerns.

Recent events have also further jarred confidence with Peter already trying to go over the head of the selection chair by imposing his conditions before their seats are even warm and we are concerned about the ramifications of this. Ref: Here. 

So there remains this divide from the perception of someone who has no clue of what an NGO is, coming from his experience in KLCA which is a very dysfunctional "State Affiliate", and the rest of us. It is our hope that with this series we can narrow the divide.

It is also our hope that you will recognise that the concerns raised on this blog represents the voice of the silent majority of the entire chess community as demonstrated by the genuine votes cast at the last AGM.

Therefore we request that the independence of the selection chair be respected and that you will provide that chair the protection that is necessary for it to function without bias.

Thank you for your time today. Part 3, communication channels, tomorrow.

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