31 July 2000


ALOR SETAR, July 28 (Bernama) -- The Kedah branch of the National Silat Federation (Pesaka) today expressed regret that certain quarters are linking the federation to the Al-Ma'unah deviationist group.

Branch president Mohamed Hussain Mohamed Salleh said this had been happening since the July 2 arms heist and the subsequent hostage drama in Perak involving the Al-Ma'unah group.

"Some are even spreading the rumour that I have been caught for involvement in the arms robbery by the group," he told reporters.

Mohamed Hussain said the Al-Ma'unah group was not among the 18 silat associations affiliated to Pesaka.

The 18 associations, with a total membership of 30,000, are also all registered with the Registrar of Societies, he said.

On Monday, Kedah police said that five of the 27 Al-Ma'unah arrested in Sauk after the incident were from Kedah.

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28 July 2000

Brunei-Muara District silat champions

The Brunei-Muara District emerged as the overall champions of the National Pencak Silat competition held in conjunction with His Majesty's 54th birthday celebrations.

The final was held at the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

Yong Cheng Meng from Kuala Belait won in both the Cerkap Asli and Kuntau categories for adults. Abdul Karim Hj Kulap from Brunei-Muara District and Mohamad Harunizam Mohd Shamin fromTemburong emerged respective winners in the Silat Cerkap Asli and Kuntau of the Kuntau sections for teenagers.

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26 July 2000

Ministry: University students not involved

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon. - The Education Ministry today said public university undergraduates are not involved in deviationist activities and that the various forms of silat they learn in the campuses are purely for self-defence.

The Ministry's higher education division director Professor Hassan Said said there had been no reports of undergraduates being involved in deviationist groups in or outside campuses.

"I would like to assure parents that they have nothing to worry about.

Co-curricular activities on campus are monitored by a special unit, headed by an academician.

"All silat activities at universities do not focus on ilmu batin (inner power) but on self-defence. It is like karate and kung fu, there is no such thing as invincibility," he said during a break at a meeting between State Education Exco members and Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad at a hotel here.

On a recent student demonstration at Universiti Malaya, Hassan said the Vice-Chancellor had been directed to submit a report on the incident to the Ministry.

"If the university finds that there are students who have contravened the University and University Colleges Act, it can take action against them."

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17 July 2000

11 deviant movements detected in Kedah

KUALA NERANG, Thurs. - Religious authorities here have detected 11 groups actively involved in deviant Islamic practices in Kedah.

State Islamic Affairs committee chairman Fadzil Hanafi identified the groups as Tarikat Qadiani Ahmadiah, Anti Hadis, Syiah, Nasrulhaq, Taslim, Ismailiah, Silat Abdjad, Arqam, Silat Hussain Janggut and Amalan Perbomohan Puan Roziah.

He said the group with the largest number of followers had been detected in Gurun.

Initial investigations showed there were more than 500 members actively involved in the group.

"They are taught that it is unnecessary to pray five times a day (as required in Islam) because the prophets had done it for all mankind during their lifetime," he told reporters here today.

Fadzil said the religious authorities had banned all 11 groups over the years but their followers had revived them using different names.

He said some had re-registered their groups as Silat Associations or other religious associations.

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13 July 2000

Registrar wary of 'religious' silat bodies

KOTA KINABALU - The Registrar of Societies (ROS) said it will not entertain any application for registration by Silat bodies formed with religion connotations.

ROS Acting director here Alan Christopher Simmons said those bodies adopting religion terms, particularly Islam, as official names would require a supporting letter or declaration by the Islamic Religion Council of the respective state.

Alan said a group had once approached the department seeking to register a Silat body with religious connotations.

"They never returned after being told of the requirement," he said.

He disclosed that of the 3,000 organisations registered with ROS in Sabah, only 14 were Silat associations. He said none of them had contravened the regulations.

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10 July 2000

JAIS ordered to probe students' involvement in cult

THE Selangor Government has ordered the State Islamic Religious Department or JAIS, to conduct a thorough investigation into the Al-Ma'unah cult, especially the involvement of schoolchildren and youths of institutions of higher learning.

Selangor Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad said today: "We have yet to ascertain the legality of the cult which is allegedly involved in the teaching of spiritual martial arts or known among many, as ilmu batin, and silat."

He was speaking to reporters after a closed-door meeting between the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah and the Regent of Selangor Tengku Idris Shah, with Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Abu Hassan Omar, State senior officers and heads of department at Dewan Jubli Perak.

Zainal Abidin, who is also State Islamic Affairs Committee chairman, said the cult did not fall under JAIS' portfolio as it dealt with the teachings of silat and thus, should be registered with Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan Malaysia (Pesaka). However, checks with Pesaka revealed that the movement under the name of Persaudaraan Ilmu Dalam Al' Ma'unah (sumber Kekuatan Bathin) was not in the Pesaka list.

The movement's headquarters is based at No 192-E3, Tingkat 2, Jalan Sungai Putus, off Jalan Batu Belah, in Klang, Selangor.

It is learnt the police from Bukit Aman and Selangor police contingent raided the premises, early this week, and detained 12 members of the cult under the Internal Security Act. Police also seized knives, parang and training manuals.

Zainal Abidin also warned parents to be wary of silat groups or silat centres.

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09 July 2000


KUALA KANGSAR, July 8 (Bernama) -- Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz wants the government to monitor the activities of silat groups to ensure they do not deviate from their original aims.

"We don't want (a situation where) they first learn the art of self-defence and then deviate as what happened in the incident in Gerik," she told reporters after visiting detective Kpl Mohamed Shah Ahmad at the Kuala Kangsar Hospital

Mohamed Shah was one of the four people held captive by members of a deviationist group who staged an arms heist in two army camps in Gerik last Sunday and holed up at a secondary jungle near Sauk being being forced to surrender on Thursday. Two of the captives were brutually killed by the group.

Rafidah, who is the MP for Kuala Kangsar, said Wanita Umno would launch education and information programmes nationwide to remind parents to kep track of the children's activities in silat groups.

She said the activities of religious groups too must be monitored to ensure they did not deviate.

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