Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What do we know about the senior squad selection criteria and the new MCF Council?

Ref: Here.

After the AGM and the first Council meeting on March 17th of the new MCF committee, there were new hopes raised that our legitimate grievances were heard at last and steps taken to address the issues raised. I was informed that there is now committee members assigned to various roles and responsibilities. And on the surface, it did look encouraging.

This is my understanding; that the Chairs of the various committees will make recommendations to the general Council for approval. This is a good way to use the entire wisdom of the committee members as a guard so that less personal agendas can go through without challenge.

So lets take the case of the selection Chair as an example here. I was informed that Encik Ghalam is the selection Chair and Peter is the technical chair. I was then informed that the Council approved the 3 qualifiers from National Close as the confirmed members of the National squad and the top 5 of the 7 pre-qualified to play at the Masters as well.

I didn't think that was the way that best reflects and bring out the strongest players that Malaysia now has and so I made some suggestions on my blog. It was my hope that if my suggestions were convincing, then maybe the Council can consider it at their next Council meeting after Selangor Open. I was hoping that the first decision was not written in stone as there have been no official posting of the criteria yet. But that was it, a suggestion. In finality I believe we need to respect the Councils final decision since they have been elected by us to represent our interests.

And so I have been sort of taking Peter's postings as suggestions and not the official stand of the Council. But Peter's postings do raise many alarm bells. The questions raised are these. Isn't it the jurisdiction of the selection chair to include new players from the active list, subject to confirmation by the Council? Peter has no authority here. He is merely the organiser. Why is he so desperately trying to pre-empt Council decisions?

There has been no Council meeting since March 17th as far as I know. Doesn't the Council need to meet before new inclusions are accepted as was the agreed due process?

It looks to me that Peter is trying to usurp authority he doesn't have. That is blatant disrespect to the other Council members. This looks like sheer bulldozing.

MCF has a chance to work well when all committee members respect the process. The confidence of the chess community is also raised when we can see good deliberation and due process. Peter's attempts to determine selection of players look like vestiges of the cowboy/gangster culture we protested so hard against at the AGM. For what we need to bring Malaysian chess to the next level is professionalism.

I believe no human agency is perfect and the new committee needs time to bring order back to Malaysian chess. And so we all need to be more patient and understanding of this.

But I do hope that the new MCF Council does recognise that Peter is doing them a disservice by the way he is blatantly trying to push his private agendas through.

In my next posting, I will try to argue how the new selection criteria can be improved and why the current one may be flawed. But I will leave the decision to the Council as is the correct way.

I think that is the proper role of a chess blog. And the Council's role is to make the best decision they can for the benefit of the entire chess community, according to due process.

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