JAKARTA (JP): Eddie Marzuki Nalapraya was reelected as chairman of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) in the three-day national congress at the Pencak Silat Training Center in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, East Jakarta.
Eddie received support on Saturday from four of five regions representing IPSI's 26 provincial chapters in the country and representatives of pencak silat schools. He will serve another four-year term.
He said he would hold a one-year training program to prepare athletes for the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur. The training will start after the 2000 National Games (PON) in Surabaya in June.
Indonesia considers Vietnam as its major rival in the sport after the latter won the overall pencak silat title in the 1999 SEA Games with seven golds. Indonesia, where pencak silat originated, was second with five golds, below its target of eight golds.
Eddie also pledged to train juniors throughout the country.
"Without sustainable training, there won't be good fighters," he was quoted by Antara as saying.
Eddie will be assisted by Oyong Karmayudha, Abdul Hamid and Darmaji.
Eddie, a retired Army lieutenant-general who is also the chief of a group for the native Betawi people of Jakarta (Bamus Betawi), previously appealed to the congress to consider his age in deciding upon his suitability to remain as chairman.
"I have been chairman of IPSI for 20 years and I am 68 now. There should be someone to replace me," he said.
Republika daily quoted Eddie as naming three possible successors: former chief of the Army's Strategic Reserves Command Prabowo Subianto, Suhana Budjana and Rosano Barak. Prabowo was said to be the strongest contender.
However, congress members decided Eddie should remain as their leader.
"Pak Eddie is the right man for the position and nobody could replace him. He must lead the pencak silat body," Isak Montolalu from IPSI's Irian Jaya chapter was quoted by Media Indonesia daily as saying.
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