10 June 2006

Silat to be given national self-defence status

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 10 (Bernama) -- Silat, the Malay martial art, will be declared a national self-defence art soon

Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who announced this today, said it was time for the government to give recognition to silat as it is a national heritage that originated in the country

"It is only fitting since the organisations under Pesaka (National Silat Federation of Malaysia) have a total of 4.2 million members," he told reporters after closing the first National Silat Festival at Gong Badak here

Also present were Pesaka acting president and Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan and Terengganu state executive councillor Din Adam

Rais said silat would be registered as a national heritage under the National Heritage Act as the first step towards government recognition

After that, he would prepare a working paper for the federal and state governments to recognise silat as a national self-defence art

The Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry would also be asked to make silat a subject in the co-curriculum in schools, colleges and universities, he said

Mohamad said Pesaka would hold a silat convention in Selangor in August to discuss the future direction of the martial art

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