Monday, December 30, 2013
Mark Siew, the "new" player in Perak.
Towards the end of the first day, when it was getting more obvious that the contest for Perak Champion will be between Mark and Yit San, a Perak Official came to talk to me. And I have known this person since 2004.
He said to me "Perak need new players". I looked at him with some incredulity. Besides the achievements in the link above, Mark was also U16 no.4 for National Age Group for 2009. U18, National Age Group No.2 in 2010. And National Junior No.2 and No.3 in 2010 and 2013 (he took a year and a half away from chess for STPM from the middle of 2011).
And he is 20 yo now.
The official told me he needed Mark's name to get funding from the State Government. Why now? Why after all these years when I have financed and developed Mark by myself? How can this guy look at me and say that Mark is a new player?
Maybe an incident can throw some light to that statement. I was informed that another strong State player has opted to play for another State. So I asked the official why? I think I know the answer but I was curious as to the reply. You see, that boy was also sidelined until very recently when Perak needed players on the National arena. Anyway, the official said yes that boy is not interested to play for Perak any longer. He flew the coop at first opportunity. So the official asked me what can he do? "Beg the player to stay"?
So let me answer him here. There is no need for begging but a sincere apology for all the years of abuse and neglect by the State would do something to make those players feel that they want to continue to fly the Perak flag. Alternatively the State develop their own players from scratch again. Mark and this boy is over 20yo now. We have come this far despite all the obstacles hurled at us. So why only ask us now?
Develop your own players and then you may begin to understand what coaching strong players is all about. Try to give them recognition for their achievements.
There was even no acknowledgment for the 1,2,3 sweep by Perak at the National Juniors at the beginning of the month.
You see, an apology from PICA is actually an acknowledgement that mistakes have been made in the past and that PICA is serious about changing into a better organisation. But there is no need to beg. We understand that the State need it's dignity. However the State also need to understand that the players need their dignity too to play strong chess.
As far as I know there were only 3 male players from Perak that made the National squad in over 10 years. Deon Moh followed by Mark Siew followed by Yit San. And there was a 10 year gap between Deon and Mark. I think the Perak officials should know who the strong players from Perak are, don't you think? After all the rest of Malaysia knows who they are.
And if we only count the players that started chess from Perak then we can only count Deon and Mark. Yit San was a Selangor import.
ps: Someone asked me about Aron Teh from Perak who was this year's National Master. Aron was born in Perak but his parents work and stay in China. Aron has never played in Perak. He is purely a product of Chinese training and coaching. However when he does play in Malaysia, he registers under Perak.
Additional information. I was just informed that Yit San actually played in Perak before he moved to Selangor. However at the point where we joined Perak chess in 2004, Yit San was a Selangor player. I hope this clarifies matter.