29 January 2001

Silat and Al Ma'unah not linked, parents told

Over the past year the rakyat, especially parents, were apprehensive when it came to enrolling their children in silat schools.

This is because silat has suffered adverse publicity due to its relation with the Al-Ma'unah movement, whose members used the sport as part of its teachings.

The Al-Ma'unah movement was recently charged with waging war and making preparations to wage war against the nation.

Following that, National Federation of Silat (Pesaka) president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib called on the public not to link the sport with movements such as the Al-Ma'unah or other silat associations not approved by Pesaka.

"Silat is a sport that teaches positive values. It helps in character building, promote good leadership qualities, loyalty, patience and confidence among its practitioners. Most importantly, it teaches respect for elders and superiors," said Muhammad in Shah Alam yesterday.

"There are however some so-called silat associations that are not registered or approved by Pesaka, like the Al-Ma'unah, and the public should beware of these associations."

Muhammad said there are 382 recognised silat associations in the country which have been registered by Pesaka, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Jabatan Kemajuan Islam (Jakim).

There are also silat associations who are not registered, but are nevertheless teaching the sport in various schools and other institutions.

Muhammad urged the public to be wary of these associations.

"Parents, schools and other institutions should find out from these associations whether their teachings have been registered by Pesaka first before accepting them. They should seek clarification form the various District Sports Councils or affiliates of Pesaka," said Muhammad.

Muhammad cited Japan as an example of a country whose traditional martial arts such as judo and karate have contributed to building many good citizens with strong positive characters for the benefit of the country.

He hoped that Malaysians will follow their example.

At the moment, there are reputed to be 3.2 million registered silat exponents in the country.

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PESAKA confident of eight golds

LIKE all subjective sports, it is the judges that decide who gets the gold medals, and silat is no different.

But with home ground advantage, the National Federation of Silat (Pekasa), are confident that Malaysia will bring in eight gold medals in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games come Sept 8-17, in contrast to their last haul of three gold medals in the Jakarta Sea Games in 1997.

Pesaka felt they were cheated in the Jakarta Games, and felt that Malaysia should have bagged more gold medals, no thanks to unfair judging by the panel of juries.

"We are very confident of reaching the eight gold medal target set, because silat being a subjective sport, the host country usually have the advantage in gaining points," said Pesaka secretary-general Megat Zulkarnain Omardin in Shah Alam yesterday.

Megat felt the jury panel at the Jakarta Sea Games, whom he claims many were trained in Indonesia, were largely biased in favour of the hosts.

Also, with the appointment of Megat recently as the deputy secretary- general for the world governing body for silat, he feels Malaysia have more say in matters relating to the sport.

"Before this it was just Indonesia who had the biggest say, but now that Malaysia are part of the world governing body for the sport, we have more say. This we believe will make the judging in competitions fairer," said Megat.

Malaysia recently competed in the World Silat Championships in Jakarta last November, and came back with a haul of two gold, six silver and five bronze medals.

Sea Games trainees Zakri Ibrahim and Azlinda Ahmad won the gold medals.

"Besides a few disputes, we (Pesaka) have noticed in the recent World Silat Championships that the standard of judging is fairer compared to in 1997. This is a positive sign for the development of silat," said Megat.

As part of the preparation for the KL Games, the squad will be competing in the Open Silat Championships in May, at Pasir Gudang, Johor. The competition is expected to be competed by ten countries in the region.

"The reason the competition is held at Johor is because it is the venue for the coming Sea Games, and we want the exponents to be familiar to the place," said Megat.

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25 January 2001

Malaysia capable of emerging silat champion

SHAH ALAM, Jan 25 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is eyeing for the championship title in the silat event at the SEA Games in September, a mission which Malaysian National Silat Federation (Pesaka) President Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib feels is not impossible.

He said he believed that the country could win the target of eight gold medals.

"Our silat exponents are as good as any, losing only to poor judging. Silat is subjective and the decision usually favours the host team," he told reporters at the Pesaka Hari Raya open house, here today.

But, Muhammad said, judging had improved providing Malaysia a fair chance of winning the title.

Also present were Pesaka deputy president Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad and Pesaka secretary-general Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din.

Controversy frequently surrounded Silat and several other events involving the art of self-defence due to one-sidedness of the judges to host team.

The World Silat Championship in Jakarta last November however showed a positive improvement.

Malaysia was ranked third after Indonesia and Vietnam with two gold, six silver and five bronze medals.

"The judging system was reviewed in a Persilat meeting in Jakarta so that points are fairly awarded," he said.

Persilat is the International Silat Federation.

A total of 21 gold medals will be offered for the event at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur from Sept 8-17.

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15 January 2001

Call to control martial arts

TANGKAK, Fri. - The Johor Government has directed the State Education Department to formulate clear guidelines which will strictly regulate the teaching of martial arts in schools.

Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said this is to ensure that the martial arts are taught by qualified instructors.

Ghani said this after a Hari Raya gathering organised by Ledang Umno division here last night.

He was commenting on an incident on Thursday in which a 15-year-old student of Sekolah Menengah Tinggi Segamat was slashed in the belly when a silat demonstration to encourage pupils to take up the art went wrong.

The 17-year-old Form Five "instructor" had attempted to cut into half a watermelon placed on the stomach of Form Three student Mohd Nasir Abdul Hamid. The parang stroke went too deep, and slashed the boy's stomach.

Ghani said silat students should not be misled into believing that they could become kebal (invincible) by learning silat. He said the mastery of any martial art could only be achieved by rigorous training, self- discipline and endurance.

The Menteri Besar has urged the State Education department to closely monitor silat classes in schools.

Meanwhile, Mohd Nasir, who has a 20cm cut across the stomach, has regained consciousness in the intensive care unit of Segamat Hospital. His condition is stable.

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02 January 2001

C. Java sends two fighters for SEAG

SEMARANG (JP): The Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) has called two Central Java-based pesilat (fighters) to join its training session for the Kuala Lumpur 2001 Southeast Asia Games (SEAG), said Central Java chapter chairman Rohadi on Monday.

"Ronny Saifullah and Haris Nugroho are now already preparing in the training center. Considering their skills, I believe them worthy of taking part in the Games."

"Both pesilat contributed gold medals at the 2000 Pencak Silat World Championship held in Jakarta last November," he said.

Haris grabbed the gold medal in the men's E (65-70kgs) class, defeating Dinh Cong Son, while Ronny beat Malaysian Azhar bin Ahmad in the men's G (75-80kgs) class.

"They will also be the backbone of Central Java's pencak silat team for the 2004 National Games in Palembang, South Sumatra," said Rohadi.

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