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Friday, June 14, 2019

Of Going Into Nomination Day - Who Do We Want?

With only a few more hours to go before nomination closes, there is still a handful of affiliates that have not handed in the names of their delegates nor the nominees for the upcoming AGM. While the campaigning seems to have taken up pace - with states and individuals starting to find their alliance and common friends (and enemies), the main bargaining chip seems to focus on whether or not a seat will be given to a state rep if their "horse" wins. With 14 positions up for grab and 14 states available in total, the most ideal way is to give each state a seat, but reality may differ and at the end of it all, some state (or individual) may end up empty handed and disappointed, or even cheated. In some cases, one or two states may not want any seat in MCF at all as they may not be able to commit to the travelling and correspondenes required, not to mention the responsiblity. After all, being in the committee is more like providing charity work since there is no allowances for any of its council members simply because MCF is not a "cash rich" association like FAM or BAM. In the usual case, based on personal experiene, those in MCF may end up having to fork up their own money (and time) in order to be active and to contribute hence, the idea of becoming an MCF Council may not seem "sexy" to those who may feel the pinch. For those coming into MCF in view that they can make money, I sincerely believe that the "era of money making" is about to be over.

From a personal standpoint, there is no harm to have everyone and anyone in MCF. After all, as the saying goes, "the more the merrier". But, while affiliates and delegates are demanding for a rep in the council, there is a serious need to evaluate and understand if the request to be in the council is because the person wants to contribute and help chess to improve, or because the person wants it for their own personal benefit and "glamour"? For now, I want to believe that many want to be in because they want to contribute, and hopefully, what I belief and what will happen, is the same thing. Whether or not I am in MCF, with the believe and trust that those who are in there are those that want to contribute, I am confident that MCF should be able to take care of the welfare, progress and development of chess, and from then on, chess will continue to flourish and improve. 

For those who are supporting Akhram's presidency, the game plan is very simple - just make sure Akhram wins. And the idea is to allow as many deserving candidates to fill up the posts. The believe is that if Akhram becomes President, he will be able to steer MCF into a new and successful era. If MCF has an outstanding leader, everything else will definitely fall in place, and that is the message being sent to the community. Further, with Akhram already being part of the chess community, and he is active going to events and being seen to contribute towards chess, the chess community will only damage their future if they elect someone who has just appear, or is appearing for other reasons to help catapult their "personal" career. Let chess be handled by chess people - not some one who appears at the last minute and not knowing anything about chess. 

But let us look at the other posts that are up for grabs.

For the VP posts - there are 3 positions to be contested and 1 appointed, the one point that should be looked at is the fact that IA Lim Tse Pin - a long standing MCF Council member, has decided that it is time for him to step down as he has been in MCF for almost two decades. Perhaps, the seat that Tse Pin has left vacant can be offered to one of the Northern or Eastern states like Kedah since Akhram himself is from Kedah. And the other VP seat can be maintained by a Central candidate.  On the same matter, current VP for East Malaysia - Muammar Julkarnain, has already agreed to rotate the the seat with his East Malaysia counter part Abang Mohd Reduan from Sarawak. Muammar has been in the Council since 2013 and similar to Tse Pin, Muammar feels that he has been too long in MCF  as well and that a fresh new blood should take his place in the Council. While I am not too sure if Rahim Shah will continue his pursuit to vie for the Presidents post, it is only right that his VP position for Women's affair, to be given to a woman. And with only a few women active in the state association, it would not be too difficult to find a suitable candidate. 

By far, the five (5) committee posts will be the most interesting positions contested by the candidates and almost everyone that I have met, agree that the seats should be openly contested by everyone and anyone who feels that they can contribute. A "free for all" contest based on who the AGM quorum prefers to be elected into the committee. If "balance" is the golden word for the new MCF committee, then perhaps the committee members should be made from a variety of candidates - old and new, young and experienced, the professionals and entrepreneurs, and from all the five corners of Malaysia. I mean, let us be fair about those elected, and those to be appointed.

But, while being fair and just are important, we also need to ensure that we have the right person in the Committee - be it the President, the Deputy, the VPs or the Committees. We do not want to vote a person in simply because of their "ego", or becuase we want their vote, but we also want them to be in there because we know they can contribute and make a difference to chess. The state of Chess in Malaysia has not improved for the past 30 years and there should not be anymore delay for us to start making things better. If the newly elected MCF cannot ensure our improvement and progress in the next 2 years, it means that Chess in Malaysia will suffer another set back in going into Malaysia 2020. So much damaged has been done to Malaysian Chess in the last decade, it should not continue to go to waste.

I am confident that Akhramsyah will be able to lead, and that the new committee will be very vibrant, energetic and geared for improvement - be it who ever in the committee. Having a good leader like Akhram, he will definitely be able to gel the team together and to ensure that the team can function well - regardless whose side of the fence the committee will be made of. Further, the most important thing that we need to remember, the President should come from the community, is close with the community, understands the beat and the pulse of the community, and knows what the community needs to thrive towards improvement. Else, we may go backward instead of forward and at the end of the day, its chess that will lose the game.

Vote well everyone!

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