KUALA LUMPUR, Wed. - Silat should be embraced by people of all races.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said opportunities should also be given to non-Malays to become coaches and masters in silat.
"Through this approach we can attract more non-Malays to take up this sport. Eventually it can become a world renowned sport like taekwondo, judo and karate," he said.
Najib, in his speech at the Pertubuhan Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia annual dinner which was read by Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, said there should be continuity to ensure the art does not gradually die due to lack of interest.
He urged the association to be open minded and be receptive to changes. "Silat is currently being perceived as slow and soft. "The association has to change its moves in accordance with the trend.
"It must be portrayed as a dynamic art with fast, slick and entertaining movements," he said. Najib, who is the Ulul Amri III (equivalent to patron) of the association, also advised silat masters to listen to members and masters of other martial arts so that the art could be modified and improvised according to the times.
Also present at the dinner were mahaguru and silat lincah founder Datuk Omardin Mauju and New Straits Times Press Bhd group editor-in-chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun and his wife Datin Norlinda Abdul Talib.
Hishamuddin has been appointed a member of the board of evaluators to pick the next mahaguru of the association.
In his speech, Hishamuddin said the media would continue to support silat as long as it was on track. "The moment it deviates from its original goals, we will not hesitate to criticise."
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