So, who is Edmund Santhara? That was the question posed to me after many read that there now a Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA) they could join and be part of a revolution for change in Malaysian chess.
But frankly there are too many awards to mention so perhaps it is best you just go to www.masterskill.edu.my to read for yourself!
Curious about the local chess scene, Edmund Santhara actually quietly took part in the Malaysian Chess Festival where I was informed he rightly but gently told off the former FIDE (World Chess Federation) President Florencio F. Campomanes who tried to take back a move and of course he went on to win the game!
While Campo is not quite as strong as he thinks he is, he is of course no pushover if you don't play well, so Edmund Santhara is clearly a strong player.
It is interesting that Edmund Santhara has been promoting the importance and benefits of chess in corporate circles for a long time by simply telling all that his strategic thinking comes from being chess player and with his business success is himself the very living proof!
The 1st Masterskill ASEAN+ Youth Team (U-9, U-12, U-15) Championships from 1-7 December 2007 in Shah Alam which was jointly sponsored and organised by the Minstry of Education Malaysia through Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) was his first foray into supporting local chess and it is says a lot about how he thinks that he quickly grasped and understood the importance of introducing an U-9 age group category because we need to encourage children to start chess earlier so that we have time to nurture their talent and enthusiasm for the game. Now Masterskill has included chess developmental activities as part of their official CSR agenda and the local chess community is already benefiting from having a new permanent sponsor.
With KLCA, Edmund Santhara looks to becoming more engaged with the challenges of Malaysian chess and I am very happy that he is committed to putting in place a model local chess association and hopefully the offer I heard that has been made to him to lead the Malaysian Chess Federation is not just lip service or worst still, an attempt by vested parties to get a new figurehead to replace an aging Dato' Tan Chin Nam whose 35 years or so at the helm you should best judge for yourself!