23 March 2002

Only as demonstration

THE National Silat Association (Pesaka) have won their fight to get the sport included into this year's Asian Games albeit only as a demonstration event. This, however, is a step in the right direction and Pesaka are confident that silat will become a medal sport in time for the 2006 Asiad. Pesaka secretary Megat Zulkarnain said the association are delighted the sport has been recognised. "The matter was brought up at the International Silat Association (Persilat) last week," said Megat, who was in Jakarta for the meeting. "More than 20 countries supported the decision to get the sport into the Asian Games but we have yet to work out the mechanics. "It has long been Malaysia's goal to get the sport into the Asian Games and are next target will be to eventually get it into the Olympics." Megat said that the national association have yet to select any exponent for the tournament. He explained that the exponents are currently in training for a tournament in Europe next month and that Pesaka will sit down and discuss with the national coaches, who should go to Busan for the Asian Games. "Let us concentrate on the tournament in Belgium first.

We will only name the squad to Belgium next week," said Megat. "The Asian Games is about six months away.

There is still plenty of time to pick the exponents."

Written by GRAIG NUNIS
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15 March 2002


KEPALA BATAS, March 15 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today asked cultural bodies and silat associations to step up their programmes and activities to attract more youths to join.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the government supported their initiatives to increase their activities in efforts to overcome social ills among youths.

They should intensify their programmes and activities as the ones organised by the government were inadequate, he said when opening a silat arena of the Silat Gayung Fatani Association at Kampung Pokok Jeneris here.

Abdullah said cultural bodies and silat associations should organise healthy activities that could mould good personality, instil a sense of love for the country and to keep the minds active, especially among students.

"When youths get involved in such activities, they will not be easily hooked to drug addiction and can distance themselves from improper behaviours," he said.

Abdullah also urged parents to change their attitude to achieve progress for themselves and that of their families.

He said they should also cultivate self-discipline in their daily work.

Parents should spare time to check on their childrens' education, provide them with religious education and not waste precious time by indulging in non-beneficial activities, he said.

Abdullah said a change in attitude for self-advancement was in line with Hijrah concept exhorted by Islam.

"We must change our attitude to progress and parents should not be shy to learn new things in life," he added.

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