Thursday, August 16, 2018

Another letter from Kaushal

An anonymous reader forwarded me this letter, again from Kaushal (he is persistent is he not?). There is  more detail which was not brought up before.
I understand that Li Tian was offered and declined. The others I have no knowledge.

Dear YB Dato’ Zahidi Bin Zainul Abidin,
I am writing this letter to seek clarifications on the selection of a team of five (5) individuals to represent Malaysia in the 43rd Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia due to take place on 23rd of September 2018 to 6th of October 2018.
The individuals who are selected are as below:
1.    CM Fong Yit San (2108)
2.    FM Lim Zhuo Ren (2166)
3.    Lye Lik Zang (2345)
4.    Mukhriez Shah Mahmood Shah (1821)
5.    CM Zaidan Zulkipli (2203)
Based on the selection criteria that has been circulated prior to Malaysian Chess Championship 2018, the qualification will be based on
“7. The Olympiad Qualifiers from this competition 
7.1. Champion of the 2018 Malaysian Chess Championship shall automatically qualify himself into the Malaysian Team for representing the Federation at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad 2018 in Batumi, Georgia.
7.2. The second and the third place shall also qualify themselves as the candidates in the Team. The remaining spots shall remain as the President’s choice.”
– Rules and Regulation of MCF-UPSI Malaysian Chess Championship 2018.
Based on these criteria above, our current National Champion, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are chosen, Fong Yit San, Lim Zhuo Ren, and Lye Lik Zang respectively. And, the remaining two players, Mukhriez Shah and Zaidan Zulkipli are your choices. I assume, your decision was made with the suggestions and input from others and/or MCF Selection Committee. From MCF’s Official website, the selection committee comprises of Lim Tse Pin and Sophian A. Yusof.
Firstly, in my opinion, Zaidan Zulkipli is a skilled player with a FIDE rating of over 2200. However, the exact criteria or reason used to select your Vice-President remains a mystery to me. There are seven (7) other players (excluding those who have already qualified) who are higher rated than Zaidan on Malaysian FIDE Rating list. 
These players are as follows: 1. Yeoh Li Tian (2497), 2. Nicholas Chan (2377), 3. Mas Hafizulhelmi (2318), 4. Aron Teh Eu Wen (2286), 5. Wong Yinn Long (2243), 6. Dilwen Ding Tze How (2222), and 7. Chan Kim Yew (2215)
In order to pick Zaidan purely on skill or rating merits, one must have needed to invite all of the above seven (7) players, and they all must have had rejected in order to offer Zaidan a place in our Malaysian Team.
My question is, had all of the other seven players been offered a spot for Oympiad before Zaidan? had they all rejected the offer? was Zaidan chosen due the fact that he is your strongest MCF committee member? who had suggested Zaidan first? what was the exact reason Zaidan had been offered the spot if it is not based on rating?
Secondly, the choice of including Mukhriez Shah in the team, who finished 18th place in the recent Malaysia Chess Championship is a bigger mystery to most of us. I fail to see any logic or reasoning behind choosing a player who has a rating of 1821, and is not even ranked in the top 100 in our country, to represent Malaysia in the most prestigious team event in the world!
Furthermore, I have a revelation to make in this letter. I had heard rumours of Mukhriez Shah was going to be chosen for Olympiad few weeks in advance to Malaysian Chess Championship 2018. At that period, it seemed to me like a silly rumour and a joke, but it came true.
My question is, how is it possible, that Mukhriez Shah was chosen even before we crowned our National Champion? When did the selection committee meet to discuss on candidates of president's choice? Don’t we have any other better candidate? had you considered anyone else from the top 100 Malaysia FIDE Rating list? had you considered former NM Kamal Abdullah who had finished 4th in Malaysian Chess Championship 2018? who had suggested Mukhriez Shah first? was Mukhriez Shah’s father Mahmood Shah (who is your MCF Advisor) part of the selection committee? what is the exact criteria and reason of Mukhriez Shah's selection?
The signal that MCF gives to our chess community is of nepotism and favouritism, where if you are an MCF Committee or are related to one, you are more likely to be given a spot to abroad. Also note, that MCF Treasurer, Haslindah Ruslan is the women’ team captain and Nik Ahmad Farouqi, a committee member, is the men’s captain which only reaffirms my point
Based on this above issue, and other scandals such as (i) lack of accountability by certain officials (ii) the breach of trust, commitment and contract by MCF which had failed until now to ratified National Scholastic Championship 2017 ( despite advertised and taken entrance fee as a FIDE Standard tournament, and (iii) what about those scandals where even police reports have been made? were there any proper investigations? were there any follow-up actions? The feeling I get when I think about how MCF runs its affairs is of corruption, favouritism, nepotism, shameful, dishonest, and the list goes on.
As an official of a body, you are answerable to your members. Our chess community and I await your reply with specific answers to my questions above which are in bold.
I sincerely urge you to clean up your committee and be as transparent as possible to our small chess community.
Lead us to a better future. Lead us in this new Malaysia.
Note: I would also like to state in the matter of public interest and conflict of interests, Sophian A Yusof and Kwai Keong Chan (KK Chan) had separately initiated a defamation lawsuit against me regarding the skirt-scandal fiasco, however, the former had withdrawn his case but the latter's lawsuit is still ongoing. Furthermore, I would add that I do not have any personal problems and get along well with Mukhriez, Zaidan, Nik Farouqi and Haslindah Ruslan. I had been urged by many parents, players and coaches to pen this letter on their behalf, and my only agenda in writing this letter is to ensure we have a clean, open and fair chess community. 
Kaushal Khandhar
+6 016-5590455