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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Race Is On Again .... And why I support Akhramsyah

As of last week, the MCF AGM is a GO but of course, we still have to wait until the last MCF meeting which is expected to happen tonight, to decide and confirm if the AGM will proceed as plan. On the same note, MCF would also have to clarify and finalise the eligibility of each nominees before confirming their status to stand for office. And when all that concludes, there will be no turning back. And with that, I do not seen any reason why the AGM should not continue as I see no solid reason for it to be otherwise. 

The MCF meeting session tomorrow will also mark as the last official meeting for the current MCF office bearers under the leadership of YB Dato Zahidi Zainul Abidin. Personally, it has been a chaotic but fantastic and memorable 6 months and 5 days for me, serving as the Assistant Secretary for the Federation. For this, I thanked my old friend of 30 years - IA Abd Hamid Abd Majid, for his believe that I am the right person to get the job done. And on the same, my sincere thanks to YB President who supported my inclusion in the Committee albeit it was a very short stint. While I feel and honestly believe that I have executed my duties the best way that I can - for the current committee, I am also hoping that I can continue to contribute my services with the new committee. Hence, for this upcoming AGM, I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope that I can convince the voters to support my nomination to be a part of the new MCF. But for now, my task at hand is to help promote and ensure that the right person will be voted and elected to helm the new MCF towards glory and accolades in the years to come.

But before that, with all sincerity and honesty, despite all the scandals and issues that have plagued MCF for the last 2 years, I truly believe that YB Dato Zahidi has done his part to contribute to the cause of Chess during his tenure as President. Despite the array of challenges and obstacles that he has faced, coupled with the diversities and differences that existed between the office bearers, YB Dato Zahidi has done an incredibly wonderful and exemplary job to manage the situation accordingly. In YB Dato Zahidi's tenure as President, he did manage to get RISDA to sponsor the 2017 edition of the Malaysian Chess Championship, and had also made a personal contribution towards helping IM Yeoh Li Tian to participate in the 2017 Zonal Chess Championship, and the many other contributions and donations that he has provided to MCF. My hats off to you YB Dato and I do hope that you and chess will cross path again sometime in the future.

Back to the matter at hand.... 

With the upcoming AGM lurking around the corner, it goes without saying that this will be the best opportunity for the chess community to select and elect a new breed of MCF officers to manage and shape the future of our beloved game. And for once, let's have a united MCF rather than a diversified team, and elect candidates who are qualified and genuinely passionate about improving chess in the country. Let's get those who understands and appreciate the pains and gains, challenges and obstables that the chess community has been facing to be reduced or eliminated, or avoided, and work towards improvement and development. Let us NOT have those who has personal vested interest to be in the committee, let us NOT have those who is only thinking about how they can make money when they are in MCF and let us NOT have those who tends to practice corruption and money laundering or swinddling in MCF. The President and the committee is supposed to think and formulate plans on how to ensure that chess continue to grow in Malaysia, and NOT to be overwhelmed by internal matters that are not supposed to exist in the first place. It would be sad if MCF continues to bicker about internal matters and issues (within the 15 committee members) when in reality, they should grow chess for the masses of chess lovers and followers in Malaysia

But to ensure that the committee moves forward towards the right direction, at the right pace and with the right plan, we MUST HAVE A STRONG LEADER at the helm, a charismatic and visionary president that can lead the pack towards development and improvement, a more structured management style, efficient, proactive and creative. And of course, that person must be someone that we can trust, someone who knows the chess community, someone who is not alien to the people on the ground, and someone who knows what the players (and parents, coaches, trainers, arbiters, officials, organisers, etc) need to make chess a respectable sport. And for me, the person to lead MCF into the future is none other than Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Tan Sri Sanusi. 

Akhram with IM Yeoh Li Tian and IM Mok Tze Meng
having some light moments at the Malaysia Chess
Festival yesterday.
For many chess players and organizers, Akhram is not a stranger to chess and albeit his busy schedule pursuing his professional and political ambition, he can still makes time for chess. This had already started even when he was working with a global oil giant many years before - attending chess events for his kids and minggling with other chess parents, and getting to know the chess community. Hence, he has a good head start having to listen to the countless woes, dissatisfactions and challenges voiced by the parents, voiced by those who pursue chess as more than just a game, voiced by the overall chess community. And if the requirement of an MCF President must be someone that holds an important corporate position, Akhram is the Chairman of MARA Corp hence, what more of an advantage that we need to have in a President? And to top the icing on the cake, Akhram is also a member of the current ruling party as such, making his ways around Ministries, Government agencies, contributors and sponsors would be much easier and better in order for chess to earn valuable mileage towards recognition and assistance.

By now, I believe everyone has already know who Akhram will be facing for the top position BUT..... while I have heard good (and also bad) things about the candidate, my main concerns are: 1) the distant between him and the community - since he is very new to the National chess scene although he maybe active in his home state, and 2) and the challenger being a member of the opposition party - which may further distant chess from the main stream. 

Aside from the publicised issue that is being talked about - which is beyond our jurisdiction as this is for the authorities to decide (but something for us to think and ponder), the 2 main concerns is enough for me to wonder how would he manoeuvre his way around the colourful and demanding chess community that is screaming for improvement? And in order to mitigate this setback, would he then bring in "advisors and enforcers" to help him manage the community that he has little knowledge of and create another "behind the scene generals"? And not knowing the community, would he be able to address sensitive and troubling issues correctly that has been plaguing MCF without outside help that may have vested interest on the course of action that needs to be taken? 
Akhram at the recent MSSM event in
Putrajaya. Pictured here with Abu Bakar
Martin from Perak, who was the Chief
Arbiter for the event.

For me, the issue is a very straightforward one.... The President must be able to adapt quickly and having a head start like what Akhram has, will definitely give us that short runaway to improve things quickly and effectively. And this my fellow chess friends, is what chess needs in this troubling times. 

On a personal note, I would love to be a part of this new exciting transformation era that MCF will go under the leadership of Akhramsyah. It will definitely be an interesting journey. Akhram himself has personally discussed matters with MOE and KBS on how MCF can work together with the ministries - and of course his own MARA Corp, on how they can help to elevate chess popularity and acceptance. 

Come 18th August 2019, we will vote for the new MCF... Let's make it correct this time around.