December 11 saw the formation of a mixed team of old and new chess officials stepping in to chart the course of Singapore Chess for the next 2 years.
With the unopposed nomination of Ignatius Leong, Ang Yao Hao (the son of former MP Ang Kok Peng) was roped in as Vice President along with incumbent Shashi Jayakumar. Leonard Lau of Serangoon Chess Club volunteered to fill the hot seat of Treasurer. The other new Committee members (apart from Grace Leong) are Tony Tan, Jason Goh and Luke Leong. Both Jason and Luke would have to be co-opted as they were not present at the meeting.
I find it most amusing when some members in the AGM were indignant at the questions on matters relating to the accounts, remarking that it was a waste of time to go through details or perceived discrepancies. They felt that time should be given for the EXCO to convey new directions for chess with regard to their children who are currently active in chess.
Perhaps these parents were misinformed about the AGM? Anyone who knows about corporate workings would understand that an AGM is held where the current executive body reports on the workings of the organisation and must stand up to questions from members. Most of the time, the questions can be blunt but in earnest, necessary to ensure that the organisation is properly run. When members question the prudence of holding chess tournaments which historically run into losses, their main concerns are about the viability of the Federation should it become financially insolvent in the near future. When that happens, who would foot the bill for the Federation to continue as a going concern (which was pointed out by the Auditors present at the meeting)?
We've had many misconceptions clarified at the meeting, which came to light after much insisted demands from members from the floor. Members were not aware that the Federation had its IPC status suspended since 31 March 2011 and would be restored only if the accounts for FY2009 and 2010 were passed. The auditor and accountant had verified at the AGM that all monies that were unaccounted for in FY2009 were tallied in FY2010. Hence, the presence of concerned Life Members ensured that the EXCO discharged its corporate responsibilities and proved to be a most effective watchdog of the SCF, albeit that their curt remarks were not welcomed by the incumbent EXCO.
As for the parents of chess-playing children joining the EXCO, please be mindful that you are in it to serve chess in Singapore - that is, all chessplayers and not just junior chess (although the current chess scene is predominately junior in nature). Hence all age groups should be given due attention. The sharp drop of affiliates, little sponsorship, high fees for SCF organised activities, reduction of SCF tournaments are a cause for concern. Hopefully, they would get their act together to improve matters in 2012, perhaps starting with a improved National Championship 2012?