PEKAN, Sat. - Silat groups which boast a membership of four million can act as the second line of defence for the country, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Najib said as the Defence Minister, he acknowledged the role of silat practitioners and hoped they could lend their hand, especially in warding off enemies when needed.
"Apart from acknowledging silat as a Malay heritage, we also believe that those practising this type of martial art can help us defend the country," he said when opening a Silat Lincah gathering here.
Also present were Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Pertubuhan Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia (PSSLM) chairman Datuk Omardin Mauju and New Straits Times Press deputy group editor-in-chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun.
Najib said silat practitioners could assume this role as they were known for their loyalty to leaders and were well-disciplined.
"We need modern technology in our defence system but it will not be effective without people who have the fighting spirit and bravery," he said.
He said silat practitioners, including the 800,000 members of the PSSLM, were also taught to adopt good values in their life.
Najib also urged the silat practitioners to acquire knowledge and be open- minded to face the challenges ahead.
He also hoped that silat leaders would recruit more young members as this could deter them from getting involved in immoral activities.
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