31 July 2002

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 (Bernama) -- Melaka's Mohammad Arif Khamis maintained his fine run when he defeated Johor's Johari Jusuh in the men's Class J final of the national silat championship at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium today.

Arif, 27, won by points 5-0. In the semifinals yesterday, Arif stunned 2000 world champion Zakri Ibrahim.

Arif said he had moved from Class I to J because it was his dream to beat veteran exponent Zakri.

He said his four-month training stint at the Military Police Training Centre at the Genting Klang Camp was the key to his success.

"I have achieved my initial aim (defeating Zakri) and the next target is to seize the world title from Zakri at the world championship," he said.

The world silat championship will be held in December in Penang.

World champion Azlinda Aziz retained her women's Class F title when she defeated Pahang's Azlina Aziz 5-0.

Five new champions were crowned out of the 16 finals contested today.

In women's Class C, Fatani Silat Gayung Association exponent Noraniza Abu Bakar beat Zamzuraini Ahmad Zamran of Perak 5-0, in Class D Melaka's Siti Sukmah Buang beat Sarawak's Nor Idawati Hamdi 5-0 and in Class E Sarah Ishak of Perak beat Bibi Aishah Golbal Shah of Melaka 4-1.

In men's Class C, Fatani Silat Gayung Association's Mohammad Emy Fazli edged Perak's Shahirifullah 3-2, and in Class E Syed Tahir Syed Hussin of Pahang beat Ramdzan Sharif of Selangor 3-2.

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30 July 2002

Hanif's golden moment

IT was a golden debut for Pahang's Mohd Hanif Ahmad when the 19-year-old collected the first gold medal of the 12th National Silat Championships. The Jerantut-born exponent, who took up the sport four years, impressed the judges with his slick moves to score 199 points to earn first place in the silat seni men's singles category. Hanif, who only entered the tournament as a warm-up to the Sukma, could not believe it when he was announced the winner by a mere point over Sarawak's Khairul Ariffin Zaidi.

Johor's Abd Majid Mohd Yusoh was third with 194 points. Hanif's win, also guaranteed him a slot in the national team to the inaugural Asia Pacific Championships in Singapore next month. "This is the first time I am competing in the national championships and never in my wildest dreams did I expect to win," said the full-time silat trainee. The National Silat Association (Pesaka) announced yesterday that all the winners in the Championships will automatically get a berth in the team to Singapore. Meanwhile, in the women's silat seni duet, SEA Games champions Noor Syahidda Wati Abdullah Sani-Shalina Abdul Ghafar retained the title they have won since 1998. The duo, representing Lincah Malaysia scored 214 points while Johor's Farizah Hanum Rashid-Nazatul Shima Abu Bakar were six points behind. Maszura Mohd Yaacob-Norniza Abu Bakar of Gayuh Fatani Malaysia took the bronze.

RESULTS Silat Seni Finals Men (singles): 1.

Mohd Hanif Ahmad (Pahang) 200, 2.

Khairul Ariffin Zaidi (Sarawak) 199, 3.

Abd Majid Mohd Yusof (Johor) 194. Women (duet): 1.

Noor Syahidda Wati Abdullah Sani-Shalina Abdul Ghafar (Lincah Malaysia) 214, 2.

Farizah Hanum Rashid-Nazatul Shima Abu Bakar (Johor) 208, 3.

Maszura Mohd Yaacob-Norniza Abu Bakar (Gayuh Fatani Malaysia) 199.

Silat Olahraga Quarterfinals Men Class A: Mohd Fairunizam Ridwan bt Norazmi Naim 5-0; Erdee Faizul bt Mohd Tajudin Musa 5-0; Mohd Fazli bt Mohd Amin Abd Manap 5-0; Nafarudin Che Nan bt Ahmad Zuhaidi Abd Aziz 5-0. B: Ismail Darus bt Mohd Arisam Ramlee 5-0; Nik Adli Nik Abdullah bt Mohd Affndi Mansor 5-0; Borhan Budong bt Lum Yu Foo @ Albert 5-0; Nasaruddin Razali bt Azruknizam Kasim 5-0. C: Mohd Emy Fazly Azis bt Roslan Abd Khayum 5-0; Mohd Faizul Ibrahim bt Mohd Abdul Raheem 5-0; Shahirifullah Ibrahim bt Mohd Khairuddin 5-0; Jefri Ahmad bt Mohd Kausar Arshad 3-2. D: Shahidan Nayan bt Nok Aziz Marhussin 5-0; Mohd Shahibullah Ambi 5-0; Ah,ad Shahrul Zailudin bt Mohd Noorhakim 5-0; Nor Hasmizam bt Ilham Yunus 5-0. E: Mohd Hasdi Said bt Mohd Rizal Aris 3-2; Syed Tahir Hussin bt Hairul Azhar Zaini 3-2; Nik Man Nik Daud bt Mohd Amin Saadun 4-1; Ramdzan Sharif bt Mohd Nor Ramli 5-0. F: Adnan Mat Akit bt Mohd Rizal Zakaria 4-1; Nordin Atan bt Mohd Shahfitri 5-0; Mohd Faizal Rahman bt Alwi Jidi (DQ); Fadli Mansor bt Rifa'ah Ridzuwanul Hakim 5-0; G: Samsudin Ismail bt Mohamed Swandy 5-0; Azman Zain bt Mohd Faizal Haron 4-1; Ayob Abdul Zilah bt Shahril Ahmad Ad Mutalib 4-1; Azhar Ahmad bt Nasir Sanusi (tko). H: Abdullah Amir bt Zainol Abas Mohd Salleh 4-1; Mohd Azrin Malek bt Mohd Norfazli Osman 4-1; Khairol Rasid Wahab bt Baharuddin Mohd Zain 3-2; Mohd Nizam Dollah bt Azman Yusof 5-0. I: Ahmad Faisal Omar bt Rohaiza Isa 5-0; Azuan Abu Bakar bt Mohd Saifulrizan Abd Razak 3-2; Razlan Razak bt Iqfanrizal Nasir 5-0; Ahmad Tarmizi Ahmad bt Adwin Hafizan Adi Wijaya 5-0. J: Mohd Johari Jusoh bt Hasraie Sahid 5-0; Zakri Ibrahim bt Mohd Suratman 5-0; Mohd Arif Khamis bt Awg Safrudin 4-1; Mohd Husaini Deraman bt Abu Hassab Andak 5-0. Women Class A: Rina Juliana Adnan bt Safrina Latif 5-0; Jurida Hussein bt Nahzatul Shima Abu Bakar (tko); Nor Shaniza Aziza bt Nurlizawati Saidi 5- 0; Norliana Kamal Bahari bt Yusna Yusof 5-0. B: Rina Jordana Adnan bt Hasnida Hamid Kamil 5-0; Saedah Said bt Azila Mat Salasa 4-1; Nur Azila Moh Azidin bt Zarah Ariffin 4-1. C: Norniza Abu Bakar bt Rashidah Salim 4-1; Siti Rozainah Hamdi bt Yusdeelah Jusoh 5-0; Zamzuraini Ahmad Zamran bt Sharina Abd Fatah 5-0; Noredayu Mohd Noor b Nor Syzila Abd Rasif 4-1. D: Sazalina Abdullah bt Umi Suhada Abd Razak 5-0; Siti Sukman Buang bt Nazriyah Kamaruddin 5-0; Noridwati Hamdi bt Norazlina Idris (tko); Nor Suhada Harun bt Nor Azlina Abu Bakar 5-0.

Written by GRAIG NUNIS
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29 July 2002

Easy start for SEA Games champs

THERE were no surprises on the opening day of the 12 National Silat Championships at the KLBA Stadium yesterday. After more than 120 bouts, the national trainees had an easy time with all the gold medallists from last year's SEA Games impressing the most with easy 5-0 victories over their respective opponents.

Ismail Darus, who overcame world champion Abd Karim Al Djufrie in the SEA Games A division 10 months ago, did not have many problems against Singapore's Moh Sadhli Karim in the first round. Mohd Azrin Abd Malek, the two-time category I SEA Games champions who also had to defeat a world champion in Nyoman Yamadhi Putra at the SEA Games, brushed aside Riza Laizi Azali while veteran Ahmad Faizal Omar, who recieved a walkover in the SEA Games final, defeated Abdul Yazid in the J category.

Despite the predictable results, National Silat Association (Pesaka) secretary Megat Zulkarnain said: "The most important aspect of the competition is to see over 200 participants. "This is indeed a good sign for the future as well as our aspirations to become the overall silat champions in the next SEA Games."

For the record, Indonesia finished with nine gold medals and Vietnam six. Singapore with one gold was the only other country to win a title at the last Games. Today, meanwhile, will see the first gold medals awarded with the start of the silat seni competition.

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22 July 2002

Wanted: Polite, clean and efficient Malaysians

IPOH, Sun. - A new breed of Malaysians who are "polite, clean and efficient" is wanted, and the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry is taking the lead in its creation.

It is preparing a memorandum for the Cabinet on this matter, under its Mesra Malaysia campaign.

The memorandum will have input from several Ministries, including Housing and Local Government, Education, National Unity and Social Development, the Immigration Department, police and other related agencies.

Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said it was a national effort to improve public service and make Malaysians more civic conscious.

"As I have said many times before, the quality of tourism services in Malaysia must be above par to promote the country as a world-class tourist destination.

"The standard of service is a worry to the Government," he said after opening the Pertubuhan Seni Silat Gayong Warisan Serantau Malaysia awards ceremony today.

The New Sunday Times, on July 7, had highlighted the deplorable condition of public toilets. The Special Reports team had found many filthy public toilets with no running water, soap and tissue rolls.

Abdul Kadir said the Mesra Malaysia campaign was a long-term programme which needed everyone's participation to make it a success.

On efforts to attract tourists from the Middle East, India, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, he said the promotional programmes had been effective.

Between March and last month, tourist arrivals had exceeded one million monthly, mostly from the Middle East and China. This was still 10 per cent lower than the arrivals for the first four months of last year.

Abdul Kadir also said silat would be included in the tourism calendar of events next year to promote it as a Malaysian cultural activity and to encourage participation from non-Malays. It was also aimed at promoting racial integration.

He said silat activities could prevent youth from going astray by giving them something challenging and worthwhile to do.

He said silat had lost its appeal among the young because associations had stopped promoting it.

"In the past, silat had been very popular in villages and among the young. Today, it has not been highlighted and youths are not interested.

"Efforts must be made to re-introduce silat and this time encourage participation from all levels of society."

Abdul Kadir said he would meet Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein soon to jointly organise silat programmes, and to include it as an international sports activity.

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21 July 2002

Silat may be made a tourism product, says Kadir

IPOH, July 21 (Bernama) -- The Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry will cooperate with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to revive the silat, the Malay art of self-defence, in every village to promote it as a tourism product.

Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said the move was necessary as it appeared that silat was on the verge of extinction whilst it is a Malay heritage which must be nurtured and preserved.

He said silat was a recreational and healthy activity which could be used to mould a Malaysian race through the participation of the Chinese and Indians just like the Malays learnt taekwondo or silambam, the Indian martial arts.

"Silat, besides serving as a tourists lure, it can also help youths to distance themselves from social ills like loafing and drug addiction," he told reporters after receiving the "Sandang Kebesaran Pertubuhan Seni Silat Gayong Warisan Serantau Malaysia Negeri Perak Award" here today.

The award was conferred by Perak Customs Board Iman Khalifah Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Shaari.

Kadir also said his ministry was preparing a Cabinet paper on the "Friendly Malaysia" integrated campaign to improve tourism facilities and services in the country.

He said a study on the campaign is expected to be completed at the latest by October after taking into account the views of various quarters, including government departments and agencies.

Among the participating ministries are Youth and Sports, Housing and Local Government and Education as well as the Tourist Police, Immigration Department and Royal Customs Department, he said.

Kadir said the national-level campaign aimed at creating a courteous, clean and efficient society was initiated after the government was concerned over the quality of tourism products in the country.

"To start with, I'll meet the chief executives of hotel managements from throughout the country at the end of this month to convey the message on the need to improve service quality," he said.

Kadir also said Malaysia was enjoying a surge in tourist arrivals despite a decline in the first six months as compared to the same period last year.

Between March and last month, more than a million tourists came to the country every month, he said.

"This is an encouraging development although Malaysia has still not fully recovered from the aftermath of last year's Sept 11 attacks on New York and Washington," he added.

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