The Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) has now been set-up under the leadership of its first President, Edmund Santhara, CEO of Masterskill.
In the past the leaders of our game were either drawn from reluctant VIPs who nonetheless did what they could (until the game got to them!) or from those associated with their game because they were once chess parents!
From what I have seen and understood in Malaysian chess, having returned now for over a year after a 12 year exit, such change can only be positive for the game and I ask that all those who think they are doing chess a favour by holding on to their positions while non performing to gracefully step aside and let a new generation take over.
A year ago no one in the local chess community heard of Edmund Santhara, but while he is an outstanding example, I am sure there are many more who will step forward once there is sent to be positive developments.
It was a big shock for me to see that there has been essentially no progress in the game since the Malaysian Chess Federation was formed 35 years ago, and it horrifies me that today it is no more than a vehicle for a number of people, many whom are my peers, to make a living - there must be a better way for all!
KLCA is the first and to date only sports association registered under the Sports Commission, a long standing requirement for even those under the Registrar of Societies and I am sure with this development, all our local chess organisations, be it at national, state or club level would be scrambling to comply.
I understand that Edmund Santhara is looking to have a very professionally run organisation, Mohd Nasri Mohd Nordin as his Deputy, Prof. Proom Promwichit as Honorary Secretary and his company's accountant as Honorary Treasurer!
The intention is to set new standards for communications, particularly via website and with media, together with compliance with legal, statutory. and regulatory matters pertaining to the day to day running of an association, while having a practicing partner in an accounting firm as Honorary Treasurer will certainly ensure the financials are in order!
It is hoped that the six committee members will eventually be largely drawn from local chess community but will not include those who largely depend on chess for a living to avoid conflicts of interest.
At this pro-temp stage, Edmund Santhara will head the Finance sub-committee, Mohd Nasri Mohd Nordin the Development sub-committee, while I have agreed to be an Advisor, the interim webmaster, and until a suitable candidate is identified, to head the Technical sub-committee.