Over the past year the rakyat, especially parents, were apprehensive when it came to enrolling their children in silat schools.
This is because silat has suffered adverse publicity due to its relation with the Al-Ma'unah movement, whose members used the sport as part of its teachings.
The Al-Ma'unah movement was recently charged with waging war and making preparations to wage war against the nation.
Following that, National Federation of Silat (Pesaka) president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib called on the public not to link the sport with movements such as the Al-Ma'unah or other silat associations not approved by Pesaka.
"Silat is a sport that teaches positive values. It helps in character building, promote good leadership qualities, loyalty, patience and confidence among its practitioners. Most importantly, it teaches respect for elders and superiors," said Muhammad in Shah Alam yesterday.
"There are however some so-called silat associations that are not registered or approved by Pesaka, like the Al-Ma'unah, and the public should beware of these associations."
Muhammad said there are 382 recognised silat associations in the country which have been registered by Pesaka, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Jabatan Kemajuan Islam (Jakim).
There are also silat associations who are not registered, but are nevertheless teaching the sport in various schools and other institutions.
Muhammad urged the public to be wary of these associations.
"Parents, schools and other institutions should find out from these associations whether their teachings have been registered by Pesaka first before accepting them. They should seek clarification form the various District Sports Councils or affiliates of Pesaka," said Muhammad.
Muhammad cited Japan as an example of a country whose traditional martial arts such as judo and karate have contributed to building many good citizens with strong positive characters for the benefit of the country.
He hoped that Malaysians will follow their example.
At the moment, there are reputed to be 3.2 million registered silat exponents in the country.
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