Monday, June 28, 2010


KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Jun 2010: Different people will remember the 2nd edition of the Mengo Green Hunt for different reasons.

For most people, the hunt will be a stark reminder of how challenging it can be to hunt for answers while riding on a train. Deciphering the 30 cryptic questions (spread over 2 legs) was not the sole challenge. It was equally demanding to find the answers looking outside the windows of a crowded train travelling at a speed of 40-50 km/h. One blink of the eye and in reality the answer could have shot pass. Thus it was not surprising to me to hear that the numbers (of participants) had dropped by more than 50% compared to the inaugural edition.

I would recommend that utilizing the train to ferry the hunters from one hunting sector to the next is much more conceivable than compelling hunters to hunt while riding on a train. I also find it ludicrous that the CoC expects hunters to be able to solve this on a moving train:

A double jeopardy question which involved anagramming an entire sentence - a challenge difficult enough, when on the ground.

Q7: A finder can stretch.
Ans: Jadi Handicrafts Centre.

and spot this What & Where question, a tiny sign with the Where comprising at least a dozen words.

Q22: Bow's companion seen here.
Ans: Arrow @ Pejabat Urusan ....... (a dozen words)

The hunt will remind me of the day I left both my eyes at home! A very bad sinus attack in the morning was a distraction though not an excuse as some of the signages we had failed to spot were fairly large ones. I did spot though a few concerned looks from many tourists sharing the same coach (with me), perhaps worried that what was troubling me may not have been the good ol' ordinary flu!

The hunt will likely be the most memorable for the Purple Antz. Having made an announcement towards the end of the prize presentation that the top 2 teams had tied on 133 points, they were probably the only ones in the hall whom had not realised that this achievement was akin to flying swines given that the maximum possible score on the day was 130 points. Though not the first boo boo made by CoCs, this is certainly the most bizarre!

There is no question in my opinion that the official results should stand given that prizes had been given away and people had left the hall with knowledge of the official winner of the hunt. But this incident will no doubt spark again the age old debate of whether in circumstances like this, the CoC or the organizer is liable to compensate the rightful winners. There has been no consistency amongst different CoCs in similar situations in the past. We ourselves have been on the receiving end of a handful of boo boos and never did receive a dime in compensation for the majority of them. But I have also heard of an occasion where an unfortunate CoC had to dish out RM5000 from his own pockets.

Feel free to leave behind your thoughts on whether the official results should stand and/or on the subject of compensation whichever that tickles your fancy!

26 Jun - Mengo Green Hunt
(Maximum possible score: 130)

Official Results

(Note: The photos of the official winners have been removed out of courtesy to the Event Managers)

1st: Wong Chiang Chuen, Claire Chin, Julie Tan, Goh Teck Koon (133)
2nd: Chai Koh Khai, Margaret Sha, Chong Voon Kiat (133)
3rd: Liew Kok Seng, Teoh Cheow Teong, Lim Kong Yew, Sam Rahman (116)
4th: Lee Ling Fei, Yeong Kig Siew, Tommy Ng, Lim Say Chye (109)
5th: Simon Matthew, Venkateswaran Nagappan, Eeswaran, Kumaran Nagapa (93)
6th: Tan Kok Cheeng, Chan Kah Sing, Anwar Jeffri and team (73)
7th: Team Meaples (73)
8th: The Karans (69)
9th: Shell KSC (61)
10th: Frengers (57)

Unofficial Results

1st: Liew Kok Seng, Teoh Cheow Teong, Lim Kong Yew, Sam Rahman (116)
2nd: Lee Ling Fei, Yeong Kig Siew, Tommy Ng, Lim Say Chye (109)
3rd: Chai Koh Khai, Margaret Sha, Chong Voon Kiat (107)
4th: Wong Chiang Chuen, Claire Chin, Julie Tan, Goh Teck Koon (105)
5th: Simon Matthew, Venkateswaran Nagappan, Eeswaran, Kumaran Nagapa (93)
6th: Tan Kok Cheeng, Chan Kah Sing, Anwar Jeffri and team (73)
7th: Team Meaples (73)
8th: The Karans (72)
9th: Shell KSC (61)
10th: Frengers (57)

Note: Errors in the Official Results


Mike said...

There is no question in my opinion, CoC is liable to compensate the rightful winners. Announced winners should be allowed to keep the prize.

CK Loh said...

I agree with Mike, those announced winners should keep the prizes anounced, those rightful winners of course should get the prizes too, IN PRINCIPLE.

In this case, the COC or the organiser needs to top up RM 5k, RM 2k to Nutty gang and RM 3k to Vettai Sakthi, whilst the anounced winners get the prizes too.

However, to be fair I think we shouldn't compare this hunt with the RM 5k topup of the NPC hunt few years back, where it is an outstation hunt, where the COC should or most probably charge much more than RM 5k, maybe five figure COC fees, and the organiser is Celcom, a big corporate player. In this case, it is a one day Klang Valley Hunt, where the COC fees charges are not too high and the organiser is an NGO, and this hunt publicly known as a hunt for charity.

Take the RM 5000 and award the anounced winners, and donate RM 5000 less to charity?

Not a good idea, if you ask my opinion.

In my humble opinion, COC needs to protect themselves more. Usually in a hunt form, there is a clause, that the organiser have the final say on the prizes, and all participants sign on it. In this case, since it is done online, I have yet to find the clause, they can include it, but I think they don't. I have post my view before in Mike's page, where the cooling off period is introduced, where what anounced is just a TENTATIVE RESULTS. Five to ten minutes cooling off period are given to the participants to voice their protest on the POINTS TABULATION ONLY. Only after the cooling off period, then the TENTATIVE RESULTS will become OFFICIAL RESULTS, and then only the cheques are given and photograph will be taken to the winners.

I think fo hunt in this nature, COC should work something like this, it is not a good idea to compensate the anounced winners in expense of the charity. If the organiser have so much money, probably the hunt will not kick off to raise fund at the first place.

Also, in my humble opinion again, and saying is easier than doing it by myself, regular/master/grandslammer hunters should return the prizes voluntarily, as this is not an RM 8888 hunt or any other hunts sponsored from MNCs. This is a hunt meant to serve two good purposes ENVIRONMENT awareness and CHARITY. Those regular/master/grandslammer hunters should encourage this type of hunt is a success and will be held for many many years to come.

COCs made mistake and should made steps to compensate the announced winners. However, hunters can choose to accept or decline the prizes if they are not the rightful winners. Just my 2 cents.

Mike said...

this reminds me when I jokingly ask Adrian a while back, if CoCs can buy Professional Indemnity Insurance for such cases.

teoh said...

Does this mean that the wrong results is the official results and the correct results the unofficial results? :)

SC said...

Well think about it... even in professional sports or Olympics for that matter, the results can change due to error and the winners return the medals. A mark of true sportmanship. my 2 cents though.

Cornelius said...


The referee did not see the goal by England against Germany. Had that goal been counted there's no telling how the game would have progressed after that. Maybe there is grounds for a replay. I'm sure the advertisers would welcome that... hehehe

Liew said...


For your sake and all other COC's sake, hope that there is that indemnity insurance available.

Wonder how you will fund the compensation for say in the case of the first prize being RM150,000 cash like in the Land Rover Hunt or the RM170,000 house in the JB Walker Hunt or the RM80,000 Toyota Corolla in the Celcom Grand Challenge Hunt. Pokai la!! COC's job is mega hazardous :P

Kok Seng

pira said...

I have become a member of the hunt community quite recently. A little more than two years to be exact. However, I have always wished I had known of their existence much earlier.
Today, I know quite a number of the members by their first names. Most of the hunters know each other for more than a decade and have built a certain platonic relationship along the way. We practically meet every week. In this sense we have all become a family of hunters, good friends and much more. Like the characters of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, we hunters transform into great rivals and adversaries during the hunt and good friends after the hunt.
Ultimately, we compete under comradeship with the ultimate goal of seeking the best hunter amongst us. To be crowned the ultimate hunter of all time in the spirit of sportsmanship. Maybe I am too much of an idealist.
In my view, the prize money should be seen as a perk we receive for the effort. It should not become the ultimate objective of the hunt.
In this context the COC is only the facilitator who organizes the Hunts. Being human we are all subject to errors. After all to err is human.. So this COC made a mistake in the tabulation of the scores. Why should they be penalized for their error?
Objective is to win and the winner takes the prize. If a mistake had been made in the procedures in determining the winner and it has been acknowledged by all parties concerned, than the issue of penalizing the COC should not come into the picture.
I personally would be ashamed of myself, if I were to take the prize money and keep it, knowing fully well I did not earn it. Further, I will have to face these very people I took advantage of every weekend. It’s like deceiving my own family members.
In my humble view, the hunters’ who were wrongly declared winners should return the prize money so it will go to the rightful winners. Otherwise, we have to consider it as charity given by the hunt community, to hunters who are in desperate need of financial assistance or are people who are extremely ravenous for money.

Liew said...

Mike said "There is no question in my opinion, CoC is liable to compensate the rightful winners. Announced winners should be allowed to keep the prize."

June 28, 2010 9:00 AM

En Rous, COC of the 1Yellow Pages Hunt, you then owe my team our rightful 2nd prize of RM6,888!!!! as you should have stuck to your own rules of closing the 2nd mid-point control in Ipoh at 2.30pm sharp hence disqualifying all who came after that cut off time but you did not and deprived the rightful winners what they deserved!

:P Above taken in pun ok.

Please see my comments on this matter in the next posting (unless it gets removed by the blog owner ;) perhaps deemed too sensitive or offensive to him).

Kok Seng

Mike said...

oh! after sleeping over it and following the comments here and offline discussions, I may have rush in commenting earlier (regarding announced winners keeping the prize) without Thinking!!!!!

Ha ha ha

CK Loh said...


It is good for you to have different opinion now!

Bear in mind, you have an RM 5000 hunt this week. According to your earlier opinion, you think you are liable to compensate and topup the RM 5000, RM 3000 and RM 1000, if you made a mistake. Do you charge RM 9000 for this hunt just to break even, if you make mistakes? Haha!

Anyone can make mistakes, don't be so sure that you won't. And if you really make mistakes on points tabulation, and if my team is the one that anounced winner but not the rightful winner, mark my word, we will return the cash.

It is a good effort for you to do a no frill hunt that offer good cash prizes, very few nowaday. And I certainly hope it is not the last from you and more to come.

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

With regards to the prizes, I am in unison with all your comments.

But with regards to the official results, I beg to differ. In my opinion, the official announced results should stand. Just like in the England game, the Three Lions have no grounds to ask for a rematch though it was obvious to more than 100 million people that an error in judgement was made. It was unfortunately what we call an "after the fact".

Thank you all for your comments which were very objective. Though, there is specifically one I find blatantly judgemental, which I have duly removed.

Whether an angel or a demon, it is not for us but HE to decide and to reveal the demon amongst us dressed in angels' garb.

Cornelius said...

I probably don't have enough time to do this right now, but I just can't control myself from commenting anyway! So I may have to comment a bit now, and then continue again later this evening!

Interesting views and suggestions by all, especially by pira and CK Loh. And yes, I can still remember CKLoh suggesting the possibility of allowing for the so-called "cooling off period" where a time window is allowed after the announcement of the "tentative results". That sounds like a very good idea, except that in reality, it's very hard to put into practice!

I think we need to be very careful when coming up with new policies. We must investigate into possible extremes. If it happens in a hunt comprising, say, 100 teams, then it is possible that many of them may have something to dispute after the announcement of the tentative results, in which case 5 minutes is far from enough! And if there is an opportunity to dispute, some people might dispute not so much because of anything major, rather they would dispute because there are provisions for it!

As for pira's views, I think you have some good points, my friend. However, I just can't agree with the suggestion of liberating the CoCs from the burden of accountability. There must be accountability on the part of the CoC, because for the most part, we hunters are at their mercy! And if they are not accountable for their mistakes, that in itself can open the door to abuse of authority. They may decide to give the win to their friends, for example, by deliberately manipulating the scores, because they absolutely have the power to do so!

And by the way, I have posted on this issue in the past. Perhaps you would like to read it here.

Oh well, I don't have the time right now, but I will comment further later.

Liew said...

So you are saying that it is ok for the results to stand at 133 points for the 1st and 2nd position knowingly that the maximum score is 130 points? Brilliant and well done :)

FYI the FIA made a revision to the European F1 GP results

Kok Seng
Who's truth wrenching comments made on this issue at 10.02am has been censored and removed by the blog owner.

CK Loh said...

It surprised me when 2R1I say

1) It's ok when the announced winner return the prizes that they didn't win, and the rightful winner get the prizes that they deserved


2) The anounced winner should keep the announced position and the rightful winner don't get the position they deserved in the official result.

To me, 1) and 2) must be together, either you stick with the original result or revert the result and give both prizes money and position to the rightful winner. You can't have a best of both world in this scenario, I think.

I just ask you one honest question, will you accept that if in Kiwanis, your team suppose to get first, but is announced second.

After a recheck, the organiser tell you can have the first prize as you are the rightful winner but you will not get the title of champion of Kiwanis, second position remains, but you get the first prize.

Wouldn't you think it is odd, will you accept with open hand?

Are you sure if this is indeed offered to your team, you think this is acceptable and you will not blog it like what you do now? Hehe.

CK Loh said...

Final comments from me.


I don't think COC needs to buy Professional Indemnity Insurance, if every regular/master hunters practice fair play on returning cash prizes not rightfully won by them (only a few teams anyway that can win cash prizes for non-frill hunts), then you don't need one.


I agree that there is a challenge and obstacle for implementing a medium for hunters to right the wrong. There is cons for sure, but there is pros too. But quit before even trying? If I am the COC, I will weight the pros and cons, and I don't prepare to top up RM 5k on mistakes made for clerking hunts, especially it is a charity hunt, thus, I would rather face the obstacle and try to improve it from hunt to hunt.

I don't see what is the big deal and troublesome, if I can prepare the top 10 breakdowns like what provided by Antz above, and during the cooling off period, team just need to check their points tabulation. They have five minutes to voice out. In this instance, if the COC prepare this breakdown above before the prize giving and not after the prize giving, no way they will not notice that 133 is not possible.


Football is not treasure hunt.

Football is competition among two teams, especially major tournament, where if errors made, you need a rematch. Logistically, it is not possible, hence result remains.

Treasure hunt is competition among many teams, where the highest score win. You can right the wrong without having a rematch. No logistic problem.

If this is so, what is the problem of changing the right result become official result? You don't need a rematch here, bear in mind.

Cornelius said...

OK, where were we? Ah! so many issues, but let me deal with the easiest one first.

I think I can safely assume that most, if not all, of us can agree that the deserving winners should be rewarded with the allocated prizes. Whether this is done by means of withdrawing the prizes from the wrongly awarded parties, or by means of the CoC taking responsibility and compensating the true winners, that is a separate matter. The point is, the deserving winners should be rewarded accordingly.

The trickier question, I think, is what should be done with the announced winners who did not actually achieve quite enough to be the winners.

One possible way to look at the matter is along the lines of "the CoC's decision is final". It means that no one can challenge the CoC's decision - he has the final say. That sounds a bit scary, because the CoC can, on his whim and fancy, manipulate the scores so that a particular team can emerge winners for reasons only known to the CoC, and no one can challenge that decision!

However, although the CoC's decision is final, his decision is still governed by the rules of the game. So if his decision is inconsistent with those rules, then it can be challenged after all!

But that opens the door to further complications. The most obvious question that arises is "Where does it end?" What if the CoC recalculates and arrives at a different winner, and then someone else points out yet another mistake(s) which would again change the winner? Should the idiotic CoC keep changing his "final" decision until he gets it right? We can easily see that there is no end to it. Or at least we can see that it can potentially become a very, very long process.

The other question is, of course, if - I say, IF - the CoC is allowed to change his decision, then is there a timeframe for this to happen? If for example, a team is announced the winners. It is then awarded with the cheque of which the team members liquidate and spend. And after 3 weeks later, the CoC suddenly realises that he has wrongly tallied the scores. Is it reasonable to expect the "winners" to return the money which is all gone by now? Or are we saying the CoC can only change his decision immediately after he makes it?

I will post this first and continue shortly...

Cornelius said...

And now we come to that one-million-dollar question: Should the wrongly-announced winners keep the money?

My personal view is that if indeed they did not win the hunt, then they do not deserve the prize that goes along with the victory. And here, I would agree with Kok Seng, that:

"The evil greed of man and woman rules the head and the heart."... and "we teach the young not to take what that does not belong to us..."

And then, I'd also like to quote CK Loh's comment to Mike above:

"I don't think COC needs to buy Professional Indemnity Insurance, if every regular/master hunters practice fair play on returning cash prizes not rightfully won by them (only a few teams anyway that can win cash prizes for non-frill hunts), then you don't need one."

All very profound and bombastic comments, you see. The only problem is that these comments bear no resemblance to reality. If anything, they are very good for pep talks.

Oops! the mrs announces "dinner is served!"... will continue later (Yes, I know, this is very long. But I can't help it lah!)

Cornelius said...

OK, had dinner, a quick shower... and now I'm back! (No, I'm not the Terminator; perhaps the Tormentor)

Since there's a mention of "greed", I want to share an interesting story with you all. Someone told me of a brilliant monkey trap used in the villages. A tiny hole is made on a coconut, and in it the villagers would put some roasted peanuts. The coconut is then tied up to something heavy. The monkey then puts its hand into the coconut to grab the peanuts. Except that because its hand has turned into a fist, it is unable to retrieve its hand through that tiny hole. It would try its best to retrieve its hand; it would cry out, but the one thing it won't do is to let go of the peanuts. So it gets stuck there until the villagers come with the net to catch it!

As an avid learner of psychology, I find this trap a genius and very beautiful, not only because of its simplicity, but also of the brilliant idea of using the monkey's greed against it! I fancy that other monkeys which are watching the wretched monkey from afar would find it hard to understand why the latter won't let go of the peanuts. It seems so simple to just let go.

But the truth about greed is that most of us, when we gain something valuable, it is extremely difficult to let go - at all cost! It is very easy to say from the sidelines that "If it were me, I won't fall for greed..." However, one has to be the monkey with the peanuts in its grip to know how it feels to be up against greed!

After all, I have said before, sometimes we are not very different from the monkeys.

I will post this first, and continue again...

Cornelius said...

Empirical evidence had shown us that when talking about ideals, it is always easier said than done.

Kok Seng, for example, commenting from the other side of the fence, put it beautifully. And I shall not attempt to dispute what's said. However, it does make me wonder what would have happened if he finds himself on the wrong side of the fence. Would he then be able to live up to his standard? And here we can have a glimpse of what would happen.

Not too long ago, there was a hunt in which the top prizes were expensive watches. Although Kok Seng's team did not win that hunt, but because of a freak mistake, the most expensive watches (4 pieces) which were meant for the champions, ended up awarded to them instead. The deserving team which actually won that hunt got the cheaper watches (which if I'm not mistaken, the organiser later discreetly compensated the champions anyway). It's quite amusing when you come to think of it. But did Kok Seng return those watches? What do you think?

That's the story about expensive menchandise as the prize. But what about cash prizes? Would it have been any different?

Well, some years ago, when hunting in Mike's hunt, Mike made a mistake and wrongly awarded Kok Seng's team a position they did not deserve. However, Kok Seng informed Mike on a possible mistake, which turned out to be so. Mike then decided to take responsibility to compensate the deserving team in terms of the cash they would have received had there been no mistake. But the net result was that Kok Seng's team was demoted to an inferior position because of the correction. In other words, they did not deserve the prize money. But did Kok Seng return the extra cash? What do you think?

So the point I'm trying to make here is that most of us can talk about ideals for hours and hours the whole night through. But when we are faced with the real thing, we may not be able to live up to our standards. Again, it is easier said than done!

I'm not trying to belittle anyone here. For if I were ever in those situations, I might fail too! I dare say that that is human nature! I think CK Loh is being naive to say what he said to Mike above.

Will continue shortly...

Cornelius said...

I'm also unsure if I can fully agree with CK Loh about comparing football and treasure hunts. I think the attempt to justify why it's OK to let a wrong decision stand in football on logistical grounds is a red herring!

If indeed it's a just matter of logistics, the final score could have been adjusted to 4-2 instead of 4-1 in favour of Germany. But it didn't happen like that, did it? The 4-1 stands! Now we all know that the true score was 4-2, yet the referee's decision, and hence the final score, was 4-1. In fact, even the German goalie has admitted that he fooled the referee! So how lah?

A decision is a decision, and in the sport of football the referee has the final say. His decision may not always be the correct and fair one, but hopefully at least 95% of the time it's the correct one!

In treasure hunt, the CoC has the final say, and again, believe it or not, it may not always be the correct say!

So you see, it's not always just black-and-white. There will be times when we see shades of grey.

But in the end, my view is that the CoC must be held accountable! If not fully accountable, at least partially accountable. Otherwise the mistakes will never stop!

Cornelius said...

OK, I'm done for now. To the blog owner, if for whatever reason you feel like deleting my comments, please consider again. I hate to think that the amount of time I spent on commenting here goes to waste!... HAHAHA!

Anonymous said...

So it appears that the "angel" himself is not so saintly after all. I am sure if we each contributed one of his misdeeds we could write a book.


kkchai said...

Your comments will stay just for the record. Well dissected and to the point. Bravo !

Anonymous said...

Good comments, Cornelius!
So, the "angel ks" is actually not that saintly himself. Like what the hokkien always say-wu cui kong lang bo cui kong ka kee"

Cornelius said...

Oh what a ride it has been since my last comment!

I have since spoken to Kok Seng over the phone, and the outcome of that conversation justifies yet further comments in this blog.

Whenever I post articles in my own blog, or in foreign blogs such as this, I always try my best to be as accurate as possible. I said as much to Kok Seng, and if I have given inaccurate information, I am prepared to retract those relevant comments and apologise for the error. I do not claim that I am perfect, so I am not afraid to admit my mistake(s). At the same time, I can also accept that not everybody will agree with my opinions. I will try to live with it!

According to Kok Seng, it's not so much as inaccurate information. Rather, he was unhappy with my failure to give the complete information for the full picture, so much so that the incomplete picture has given a distorted impression on him.

So I'm back to add further information on the examples I have quoted involving Kok Seng.

According to Kok Seng, in the case of the expensive watches, the organiser had pre-packaged the bundle of prizes (including those watches and other stuff) for each of the winners. And it was not his fault that the most expensive watches ended up in the second place bundle of prizes. He also pointed out that it has happened in the past where the value of prizes may be such that the champions end up with lesser than the other winners!

As for Mike's hunt, he said he did offer to return the cash, which was declined by the CoC.

When I posted my comments, quoting these examples, I did not think these information were relevant, but if indeed they were, then I should like to apologise for the omission.

I will post this and continue shortly...

Cornelius said...

I want to say that when I comment or discuss about anything at all, I will always try my best to quote authorities and examples. I make that a habit because it is the scientific way of doing things.

So if I want to talk about treasure hunts, for example, I will try to quote examples from past hunts. When discussing about the validity of decisions, I quoted from the Germany v England match. When discussing about "easier said than done", I also quoted those examples to drive home my points.

BUT! I did not quote with malice. I could have very easily hidden behind the veil of "Anonymous", which I did not. I quoted those examples for the sole purpose of examples, period. Whether or not Kok Seng or any other person decides to retain the prizes, deserved or otherwise, I don't really care.

And you will notice that I did not even bother to ask if the wrongly-announced winners of this Mengo Green Hunt eventually retained the prizes. Whether they did or did not, I am sure they must have given a lot of thought on it. Suffice to say that I have given my opinion that "My personal view is that if indeed they did not win the hunt, then they do not deserve the prize that goes along with the victory." Whether you agree with me or not, that is your right. I am not immune from mistakes.

I'd like to think that true friends should have the freedom to be honest between each other. None of us are perfect; I certainly am not! I'd like to think that if there is, say, a habit which I don't really like, eg picking one's nose at the restaurant, I can express my disgust without any fear of my friend getting offended!

CK Loh said...


There is still one more issue I think I am not clear with your view. I will be glad that you can let us know what you think.

The announced results should stay – no matter how silly that the score is more than the maximum score despite the COC agree that it is a wrong result.

Anonymous said...

Righteousness: So in his case, $$$ is not hard-earned and drops from the sky into the CoC's pocket? And claiming to be ignorant is fine by his books?

Honesty: Anyone remember the infamous Coca Cola treasure incident? Guess whose name was in the headlines then caught cheating at the Finish?

Integrity: My toes and fingers are insufficient to match the number of non-hunting Masters he reaches out to, to "assist" him during hunts. Penang and KK are not beyond his coverage, folks.

Role Model/Responsibility: Pleeeeeeeeeease! How many of us have seen him abusing the CoC after an event, please raise your hands.

Embarrassing ain't it to preach values that you don't practice?

Anonymous said...

the problem, as with english football, is that treasure hunting has become too commercial and big-money!

Cornelius said...


It doesn't matter what I think; and it's not a question of whether the results are "silly". If they must be "silly" then they will be "silly"!

We need to revisit the question of who's the authority in treasure hunts. Whatever we say, whatever we think, in the end the CoC has the final say. That's why I said the hunters are at the mercy of the CoC. And that is unfortunately the absolute truth until we can find a better authority.

Again, taking the recent Germany v England match, 100 million people saw the ball bounce into the Germany goal posts. By the rules of the game, it was a goal. And of course it was indeed a goal. But the referee did not see the goal. that's 1 against 100 million. How silly is that? Yet the referee's decision stands!

It would be interesting to know (I'm not well versed in football history) if ever a referee had reversed his decision before. And if he did, was that second decision valid?

What I'm trying to say here is, the CoC is the referee in treasure hunts. It is not a question of whether his decision is silly or not. It's the question of its finality.

In the case of football, if the referee keeps calling the wrong shots, then his competency would be called into question. And I would imagine that his days as a referee would be numbered. But until his service is terminated, he is still the authority. This is not The American Idol where the outcome may depend heavily on so many people.

Likewise, when the CoC makes a decision, that should be the official result, regardless of whether it's a just decision or not.

Will continue shortly...

Cornelius said...

If the CoC keeps calling the wrong shots, he will risk losing his audience in future hunts. But in the mean time he calls the shots!

So in this particular hunt, the questions we need to address:

1) Should the CoC be allowed to change his results after they're announced (whether or not those results are "silly")?

2) If the answer to (1) is "yes", then what are the parameters of that flexibility?

Under (2) above, notice that things can quickly become complicated, e.g. How many times can the CoC change his decision?; Is there a time window for him to do that?

And after all that, the CoC's decision is final based on existing rules.

Therefore, if we can allow the CoC to change his decision on a recount, then the amended results should stand. What the rest of us think isn't important!

But if based on our own calculations we arrive at a different conclusion, that our own conclusion, not the official conclusion.

I was told that in the Germany v England match, the bookies adopt the result of 4-2 in favour of Germany. That is the true result for the 100 million people who actually saw the goal. But the official result is still 4-1 in favour of Germany.

SLACKER said...

i agree with mike's first statement -

There is no question in my opinion, CoC is liable to compensate the rightful winners. Announced winners should be allowed to keep the prize.

for the simple reason that if there's a mistake - the ORGANISERS should be liable (irrespective whether its a charity fundraiser or otherwise). As the CoC was the cause of the mistake - the CoC and the Organisers should decide which party should compensate amongst themselves as it has nothing to do with everyone else.

I understand where Pira is coming from and I do sympathise. However, its not practical for the announced winners to return gifts when the organisers have publicly anounced the winners and scores especially in public hunts which normally provide monetary gains to winners, CoCs, organisers, etc.

Its a risk organisers and CoCs alike have to bear as it affects the reputation of the sport and also credibility of the CoCs.

I agree with what Anon said at 3.07pm yesterday -

the problem, as with english football, is that treasure hunting has become too commercial and big-money!

since its moving towards a big-money business - (both for CoCs and hunters), such errors shouldn't occur. to err is human - but doesnt mean we can't check - double check - triple check before announcing results. There's a difference between answer interpretation vs erroneous points tabulation. for the former - the CoC's decision is final is fair irrespective of how ridiculous the logic behind the rationale is. for the latter - someone's just got to pay the price.

i'm a careless person by nature hence why i check my work a hundred times before i pass it final coz u'll never know what was overlooked.

as for england - they are just plain rubbish and deserve to be hammered. i really doubt that if the goal had stood they could've gone on to win as if u see the 3rd goal again.. the entire back 4 were waiting for a lamps cross as germany counter-attacked. perhaps blatter can stop receiving bribes and start using the damn technology to resolve such disputes which could have been done within seconds of that controversial incident.

which brings me to my final point - u can't compare football to treasure hunting as u cant compare the ref to the CoC. the ref needs to make a decision within seconds of the event. The CoC has (somewhat) the luxury of time and manpower to re-check before announcing the winners.

Cornelius said...


If I understood you correctly, you're saying that CoC should check and re-check as much as he can. But results, once officially announced, should be final. Is that what you're saying?

If there is a poll conducted for this question, my vote would be for a one-time-only-official-announcement of results. The CoC can check as much as he likes, but once an official announcement is made, that should be final.

And of course in that case, whichever team announced as the winners should be the official winners. And since they are the official winners, then they're entitled to keep the prizes won.

What about those who were deprived of the prizes because of the error? Well, they should be compensated, either by the CoC or the Organiser, that's up to them to decide. But the official results should remain.

A friend gave me an interesting idea today. A scenario where a team achieves the perfect score and duly announced as the winners. Except that a few days later, the CoC realises that another team should be the winners on tie-break decided on time, because the CoC failed to mark an entire page of correct answers!

Based on your argument of the available time to arrive at a decision, of course it's not practical to compare the ref and the CoC. Obviously the quality of those respective decisions may be far different. But here my argument is on the issue of finality of those decisions, not of the quality. If the decision which was arrived at within seconds (and may be inferior in quality) should stand once officially announced, I fail to see why the decision which took much more time to make not stand too?

And I can agree with you that "it's not practical for the announced winners to return gifts when the organisers have publicly anounced the winners..."

CK Loh said...


Just to keep it short with my opinion again on the issue of whether announced winner should keep their position and prizes.

I don't agree with ckoh view as compare this situation with the referee and football on the example he quoted, to me it is red herring.

I have to agree with SC view, that is in highest level of sport like Olympic, where it is common practice that those winners need to return their medals, if they caught cheating like adopting drugs usage. There is various cases for this, need not for me to quote an example, I am pretty sure you know at least one yourself. And the medal tally will be changed and adjusted with the new result.

There is a few sports in Olympic that involves points tabulation, like gymnastic, archery, diving and shooting, and I am very sure that if the anounced winner need to return their position and medals, if there is a point tabulation error. However, I don't have example here, as far as I know, there is not a case yet that involves point tabulation in higher level sports in Olympic. But I am pretty sure that if this indeed happening, the anounced winner will not get the position and prize.

So, there is only one 'sport' that I know of that you don't return the position and prize, despite the COC/organiser/referee announce that the result is wrong.

Even if in football, if the referee anounced the goal is not valid, then the goal is not valid. And if the referee can reverse his decision on the penalty avoided after consulting with the linesman.

The referee have the final say, if he want the result stay, then the result stay. If he want the result changed, then it will be changed. What ckoh quoted are examples that the referee want the result stay. He haven't quoted scenario where the referee want the result be changed.

Now, the COC announce the official result is wrong, and tabulate the right result to the common media for treasure hunts.

What made treasure hunt so special that the COC/organiser/referee have no right to determine what is the official result?

Just think about it.

Cornelius said...


I'm a bit short of time this morning, but let me try to respond to your comments categorically.

You're comparing this situation with cases where the competitors cheated to achieve the wrong results. The competitors in this hunt did nothing to mislead the CoC to arrive at 133/130. That's all the CoC's doing. You're trying to free the CoC from mistakes solely done by him.

Yes, I agree that there are times when the ref calls a shot, but may changes his mind upon discussion with his linesmen. I think you're confused with what's debated here. I'm saying that the CoC can consult with his marshals as much as he likes. Mark the answers and change the results if he likes. But when officially announced, and prizes given away, results should remain. In football, too, that's the norm as far as I know. The ref can change his mind, yes, but upon the official result and prizes given away, that will stay, even if it is found later that mistakes have occured!

Until very recently, many other sports have this kind of problem, not just football. Tennis, for example, depended on the eyesight of the ump and linemen. And they have been found to be wrong at times. Computers have only been used beginning from some years ago, but before that, it's all the ump's decision. Same with badminton and some other sports.

If you want to change the rules of treasure hunting, then let's all agree to it. When marking the answers, all the hunters should be given the opportunity to watch over the CoC's shoulders like a hawk. In that way, it's some kind of auditing system. All the calculations and tabulation should be perfect. But there will be no more thrill of announcing the positions. And then be the time the results are announced, there is absolutely no possibility of having to change the official results. Would you like this approach, CKLoh?

CK Loh said...


If you want example of result in sport reversed due to judge error, there is one here.

Announced result in sport can be reversed, even in Olympic. If there is error, then the result need to be reversed. Why Olympic can, and treasure hunt cannot?

More info:

Due to an error in judging, Stevenson almost exited the 2008 Olympics in the quarterfinal stage following her match with China's Chen Zhong, the gold medal favourite. In the final round of the match, the judges failed to award Stevenson two points for a high-kick to the head, which would have put her one point in the lead with 10 seconds remaining. Following the match, the British team representative immediately made an official protest and, after studying video footage of the kick the judges reversed the result of the fight and Stevenson progressed to the semifinal. Stevensons's semifinal opponent was Maria del Rosario Espinoza of Mexico, and she lost 4-1, also sustaining a twisted ankle. She then went on to compete for bronze in the repechage, defeating Noha Abd Rabo of Egypt and winning Britain's first Olympic medal in the sport of Taekwondo.[1]

On announcing the change of result in the quarter final, the tournament director said:

"The competition supervisory board has looked into this matter deeply, has made video analysis which has been open to all the referees and judges. In applying paragraph two of page 64 of the competition rules of the World Taekwondo Federation we have to change this result and we have to declare the British player as winner. We are very sorry to the spectators of China but justice is first. Thank you for understanding."

CK Loh said...

I like the last line.

.. we have to change this result and we have to declare the British player as winner. We are very sorry to the spectators of China but justice is first.

pira said...

I think the issue is continuous improvement or “Kaizen” in Japanese. As with games like tennis and cricket, the issue of wrong call by linesman has always been an issue. In order to overcome this problem, we have the Hawk Eye” invented by Paul Hawkins to confirm or negate the doubtful line calls involving human judgment. This takes away human judgment and uses technology to verify dubious human judgment calls.

Inadvertent or intentional wrong line calls are still very pervasive in badminton. In this case no technology is yet available to counter this issue. In football, we have idiots like Sepp Blatter who are against using goal line technology. Today even this incalcitrant idiot has decided to consider technology in football after the huge blunder in the 2010 world cup. It goes to show there is hope.

The issue to be addressed is how to overcome the shortcomings of the COC. My suggestion is to consider rating the COC based on past performances. Just like the ratings given for hunters. Someone has taken the trouble to define the Grand Slam event akin to the Tennis Grand Slam events, and then list the hunters who have won these Grand Slam events. I believe (I do not know ) this ranking has been accepted by the hunting community.

Now if we can rate the COC’s then this will provide an impetus to the COC’s to improve.. Further, this will also provide a platform for sponsors and organizers of hunts to decide which COC to pick to manage their event. This will further push the COC’s to buck up as poor performances will lead to loss of future earnings. Ratings are common for universities, cars makers, etc.

However, I believe it is going to take some courage to, as there will be criticism from the poorly rate COC’s. We need audacity to prepare and release the list.

Cornelius said...


Sometimes I'm quite amazed with how difficult it is for you to understand what the hell we're debating about here. You keep harping about sports where results have been reversed. I did not say that there are none. There are many, many results which have been reversed I am sure of it! Let me tell you one more time that I do not dispute that fact!

Read all the comments here again and try harder to understand what we're debating about.

"In applying paragraph two of page 64 of the competition rules of the World Taekwondo Federation we have to change this result and we have to declare the British player as winner."

The example you've quoted above is a sport which has official rules. And based on those rules, there's a provision for reversal of results where there are judgement errors. If there is a provision in the rules of the game, then of course that should be adhered to. There is nothing magical and fantistic about that.

Right now we have no such rules in treasure hunts. And this whole debate is for us to find a solution. If there is something in the rules that says "the CoC can change the official results on account of wrong tabulation", then yes, I don't have anything more to say. But we don't have that provision. So we're discussing the issue here.

We might as well say that the CoC's announced results are never final. That they are forever open to challenges. After the results have been announced, and prizes given away, and a month later, it can still be reversed on grounds of justice. Then in that case, you should pursue with the CoC who failed to read the entire page of your explanations to your treasures which he required. Those results shouldn't stand too, because obviously that's injustice.

I asked you for a solution, giving an example, e.g. letting all the hunters to witness and endorse the marking of answers. If you think that is a good idea, then so be it, that's your opinion. I don't think it's a good idea.

Cornelius said...
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Cornelius said...
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CK Loh said...


Right now we have no such rules in treasure hunts. And this whole debate is for us to find a solution. If there is something in the rules that says "the CoC can change the official results on account of wrong tabulation", then yes, I don't have anything more to say. But we don't have that provision. So we're discussing the issue here.

If you see my first post, I have said that COC need to protect themselves more by having the rule. I have stress the important of the rule in the first place.

I don't agree your solution. It is not the norm in any other sports for the player to be auditor.

My solution is simple, apply what the other sports do.

1) To have such a rules, that COC can revert decision for point tabulation, in entry forms.

2) To give sufficient time for contestant to protest, if there is a need to protest, in between the time the winners anounced and the prize giving ceremony.

In any other sports inclusive of Olympic sports, the prize giving ceremony will be held at least 10 minutes or for some case hours after the official result is announced. If you protest during this cooling off period, then you have a case. And, if you protest after this period, then you don't have the case. There is a case, where points tabulation error not entertained in Olympic after the cooling off period. Only during the cooling off period, it will be entertained.

I amused, you can't understand this two points that I have bring up from the very beginning and suggest your so called solution instead.

My solution is just the above two steps, which might not be good idea for you, but to most sports, even Olympic sports are adhere to the above two measures. I agree for once that you auditor solution is not a good idea at all.

Again, if it is a good idea for Olympic sports to

1) have such rules to protect COC
2) to have a cooling off period for the participants to protest.

Why not treasure hunt? You think doing it in treasure hunt more tedious than doing it in Olympic?

Cornelius said...


There is nothing amusing about it. From the very beginning, I was already against your idea of the "cooling off period". I cautioned the readers from introducing new policies which open the door to further complications.

No such rules? Well, what "rules" do we have right now? I did not see the Entry Form of this Mengo Hunt. But my guess is that there must have been something in there in the order of "CoC's decision is final." In the absence of anything other than those few words, it means, well, the CoC's decision is final. If you don't really understand what that means, let me tell you that it means there is no provision to dispute the CoC's decision. End of story. If he counted wrongly, it is still final. But the hunters in this case challenged the CoC's decision, and that's not according to the existing rule. Do you understand what's going on here?

If you feel strongly about your "cooling off period" approach, then you should convince the CoCs to adopt it and actually put that provision in the rules of the game. However, I suspect you will find it an uphill task.

At any rate, I stand by my opinion. Results have been officially announced. Prizes given away. That should have been the cut-off period. If I joined a competition and did not cheat in the game; when and if I am declared as the official champion and the prize awarded to me, I think it is not unreasonable for me to deem that as final. Or am I suppose to hold on my celebration until a week or two later to allow for the judge time to realise his mistake(s)? What do you think?

CK Loh said...

Results have been officially announced. Prizes given away. That should have been the cut-off period. If I joined a competition and did not cheat in the game; when and if I am declared as the official champion and the prize awarded to me, I think it is not unreasonable for me to deem that as final. Or am I suppose to hold on my celebration until a week or two later to allow for the judge time to realise his mistake(s)? What do you think?

My thinking is simple, you know, I know treasure hunt rules are not clearly written, there is not s standard for it, and it varies from one COC to COC. After all, it is not an Olympic sport.

However, as at any other sport, the COC, the organiser, the umpire, the judge should made the final decision. There is a precedence in Olympic sport, where after the winner is anounced, the whole country celebrates, the result is reversed. If it happen in Olympic, it will hapeen anywhere and at any game.

If the organiser want the official result to change, then it should be change. If they want the official result to stay, then it should stay.

It might be injustice to you as you already anounced winner. Just like the China taekwondo opponent that have anounced winner, but later the decision is reversed. She already start celebrating, so did the whole China. And the decision is cruel, even thogh the points is calculated as missed by the judge, the Chinese opponent still have 10 seconds to save her, but because of the wrong judgement, the Chinese opponent don't have the 10 second to chase the game. It is unfair to her, but if the decision not reversed, it is unfair to the British opponent too.

It is a lose lose situation. Then how?

It is simple, very simple. The final decision is final, what the organiser think is correct then it is final. It is their game after all. They might have their own objective to achieve and too difficult to be understand by you. If you think you can do a better job, then volunteer to be COC yourself next round.

It doesn't matter you already received the prizes and start your celebrations, what the organiser think is appropriate then it is final.

You might not like it, you can complain, you can even do picketting, it is up to you. But this competition is belong to the organiser, let them made the call.

If you really can't swallow it, then just don't join their competition ever after again. You can choose to boycott the competition. But it is not ethically right to force the organiser to accept your view of thinking, and they are penalised, because you have different opinion.

Doesn't it too difficult to understand and digest? In this case, the organiser already made a stand, the wrong result is not official result, the correct result is official result.

What is the right, we hunters and bloggers have to overwrite their decision, and state the wrong result is official result constrasting their official result?

Bear in mind, if you don't like the steps taken, then just don't join anything organised by then.

Just like you go to a restaurant, if you like their services and foods, then you will probably a repeated customer. If their services and foods are sucks, then you can opt to boycott the restaurant. You can claim and request them to refund, since you don't like their services, foods, decisions. But it is their call after all whether to entertain you. If you still have problem, then open your own restaurant snd set your own rules, then everyone have to follow your rules.

Cornelius said...

Ah! CKLoh, very interesting point! Yes, you are right, and if you have noticed, I have never joined any of the hunts by this CoC!

I'm not trying to force the CoC to agree with me. I have said here before that I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I'm debating this point and sharing my opinion. If you think the CoC should not shoulder the responsibility of his mistakes, then that is your right, I respect your opinion.

However, you should also remember the owner of this blog has the opposing view. And you should respect that too. It seems that they consider an official results, once announced is final. It seems that they believe that there is no provision for final of the final; or final-est of all the final results.

In other words, CKLoh, if they were to come back again next week to announce that they have discovered yet some more mistakes, and would change their so-called official results for the third time, it should also be accepted, because it's their right to decide the most final of the final results.

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

CK Loh,

As with any problem, the best solution is to nip it in the bud! If the CoC has made a mistake, he or she has to figure out ways on how to improve to prevent recurrence.

Adding additional processes in the flow (especially a gating process) is never favoured in any line of business - it is a waste of $$$ and resources, interruptive and time inefficient.

CK Loh said...


Finally, we can stop this long comments and create a new record for this blog.

I agree some of the points raieed by ckoh and 2R1I, and disagree some too. We can agree to disagree some of the constrasting view.

Yeah, I hope not that they change their decision again. Because, it is already on paper.

It will caused them more damage, if they going to change it again.


Anyway, you get me wrong that they shouldn't hold responsible for this. First of all, they should made a proper apology to all affected teams, which I think they did. Secondly, they should compensate where they think appropriate.

However, my point of view is since this is a hunt for good purpose both for environment awareness and charity, and often COC might charge peanut for charity hunt, in some cases they might even do it for FOC for their part to ocntribute to this society, then I personally think we shouldn't take advantage and ask them to pay money from their own pocket. We are friend after all. If I know they charge handsomely from this, I might have a different view.

But this is my opinion, you can beg to differ and I will respect it.

Kheirul Nazib +60192609173 said...

"CoC is liable to compensate the rightful winners" - aiya, my team case in one hunt was more like 'coc has the right not to show the actual score even there is differences between your count and the announced result, your team has no right to complain because your team has no proof to claim that the coc made calculation error, (if) the coc revealed the 'actual' score to you the next morning, (that) shows that your team should be the winner, consider the coc is very kind to your team - there's gone our 4K :D

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Kheirul, my heart goes out to you!

To nip this in the bud, I would recommend that hunters stop supporting events organized by Fly By Night Event Managers out to make a quick buck.

The tell-tale signs are:

(i) A CoC who had just dropped from the Sky (an unknown in our community) AND
(ii) An event that promises lucrative prizes AND
(iii) A 3rd reason I'd prefer to keep to myself.

I will take the first step by refusing to help advertise for such events in this blog. Doing so, I hope to see a reduction in the number of hunters getting their fingers burnt!

Cornelius said...

Just to add, Kheirul, if you were to conduct a survey, you'd be surprised to find that most, if not all, of the regular hunters have experienced losses in their hunting career because of mistakes by the CoCs.

However, because of courtesy, and perhaps because they understood the meaning of "CoC's decision is final", in most cases, they accepted the CoCs' results. Or at least they would not challenge those results openly. Bagi muka sikit lah! Then later, some of them would bring to the attention of the CoCs, the mistakes. Sometimes, the CoCs would apologise (discreetly); at other times they will belanja makan or minum kopi as a gesture of compensation. But the official results stood!

Kheirul Nazib +60192609173 said...

btw, can the CoCs and the Grand Masters come out with a CoCs SOP? the industry is potentiality growing even bigger, and after like 15-20 yrs (as i heard), maybe it's time to make it standardize? what can complain, what cannot, should CoCs pay, should not? sure can...or cannot :)

Lord Rajj said...

Green Hut 2010 fraces update;

The wrongly announced winners (x2 teams) have been compensated, based on mutual agreement between the teams and the CoC. The teams went one level higher to donate the whole compensation amount to charity. Appreciate their good deeds.

While the rightful winners will be awarded with the rightful prizes by the organiser.

Hope the matter is closed and thank you for the co-operation and feedback of the parties concerned.


CK Loh said...


Are you proposing the formation of THAM (Treasure Hunting Association of Malaysia) or PMHKM (Persatuan Mencari Harta Karun Malaysia)?

What made treasure hunt differ with other sports which have a standard rules as guideline, in my opinion is the existing of such governmance body for the other sports. All sports in Malaysia have their own association and governance body, and it includes to other social events like Chess.

If only THAM have their own President, own supreme council, own rules, procedures and guidelines, then

1) standard rules will be used for all recognised hunts by the national body
2) more quality hunts will be available and highly rated hunts will not clash in the hunt calendar
3) it will be more attractive to sponsors to sponsor hunts, thus it will encourage a bigger market
4) those that want to be coc need to apply a licence or certificate, thus there is a control of good quality COC.

and various other benefits, that made every other sports need a national government body for it.

However, in treasure hunt, who want to volunteer to setup this association?

Unless, all the major players really see the importance of having a body to represent them, and sit together and form an association and vote for a president to head the association.