At The Crossroads With This MCF Elections

During the time of the National Age Groups, I got a call from KLCA President Dato' Sri Dr. Edmund Santhara who told me that MCF President Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib had asked to see him and it turned out that it was a request to come on board to strengthen the leadership of Malaysian chess.

Unlike Tan Sri, Dato' Sri is a chessplayer who is also a corporate figure, and so when he accepted the invitation to become Tan Sri's Deputy, we immediately reviewed the situation and started to draw up plans in consultation with many stakeholders for a MCF that would be world class. Of course a succession plan was also agreed to as part of the process.

It is not Dato' Sri's style to come in just like that and create conflict via an aggressive takeover and so he was happy for a period to get to know the people at national and state level and to have time to work with everyone to collectively put into place what was needed, one step at a time.

What many people do not know was that when Dato' Sri started KLCA in 2008, he was invited by Dato' Tan Chin Nam to take the leadership of a MCF then in some trouble but somehow Dato' Tan's wishes was not respected by those who had clung on to positions for years and they instead found Tan Sri and persuaded him to become MCF President.

For Dato' Sri this was a big surprise as he had been asked, but since that was what MCF wanted, he decided he would instead focus on making a contribution through KLCA, and hence the KL Open, later renamed the DYTM Raja Dr Nazrin Shah International Open, was born.

I know Dato' Sri well after organising these events for KLCA in the last five years and he loves chess and can do a lot but I also know he thinks strategically in five to ten year plans and while he will put in place a good and sustainable MCF, he also does not believe on overstaying his welcome and would from day one be looking to help the various states be stronger while already looking for a successor.

Dato' Sri has agreed to help Tan Sri to build a new and better MCF and will honour it through a collective leadership with him and this is really a case of now or never as many years ago he was ready to do this but others thought they could do better and so today we are again at a crossroads.

We have somehow again gotten an opportunity to have a chessplayer with passion, means and capability to lead Malaysian chess moving forward. Let's not throw this second chance away simply because we are frustrated at shortcomings that can finally now be addressed. Some are new to MCF so let me tell them it is not the just last six years bad but really the last twenty!


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