15 March 2001

Pesaka all set for a tough fight

WITH the rise of nations who were previously not a force to be reckoned with, namely Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, the Malaysian Silat Federation (Pesaka) will not take anything for granted in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games on Sept 8-17.

Already assured of a tough challenge against the likes of Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore to achieve the eight-gold medal target, the last thing Pesaka need is an upset from these countries, who in the past, were considered minnows.

After a pre-competition tournament at Pasir Gudang, Johor, venue for the KL Games, on June 5-11, there will be another tournament which will see all exponents, senior and junior, compete against one another.

The best will make the final squad.

"From the pre-competition tournament, we will be able to gauge the performance of all the exponents in the squad against the other South-East Asian countries. Besides exposing the players at the venue, it will help us select our final squad for the KL Games," said Pesaka secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omardin in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"After the competition, we will have the first team, for the men and women, compete against the backup team. No preference will be shown to any exponent, only their performances will be taken into account."

The back-up team consists mainly of exponents who were selected last December, based on their performances in the World Silat championships in Jakarta last November, where Malaysia won two gold medals.

Malaysia, along with Thailand, are competing in 19 out of the 21 silat events contested in the Sea Games.

The Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand will be competing in all events.

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14 March 2001

Al-Ma'unah members had 'more than silat in mind'

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues. - Articles found at Bukit Jenalik in Sauk, Kuala Kangsar, in July last year showed that the Al-Ma'unah group did not go there for silat training or learn about traditional medicine, the High Court heard today.

Senior deputy public prosecutor Datuk Abdul Gani Patail said apart from firearms and other weapons, books and pamphlets on combat guidelines, radio communications, and the art of deception, which were unrelated to the group's activities were also found.

Abdul Gani, who was making his submission at the end of the prosecution's case in the trial of 19 Al-Ma'unah members charged with waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, tendered as court exhibit three pamphlets.

The pamphlets were entitled Panduan Tempur Pegawai Kadet (Combat Guidelines for Cadet Officers), Muslihat (The Art of Deception) and Prosedur Telegraf (Telegraph Procedure).

Abdul Gani said the articles found at the hill showed only one purpose: that of overthrowing the government and to establish an Islamic country.

The 19 group members including their leader Mohd Amin Mohd Razali are alleged to have committed the offence at three places in Perak:

* 2nd Military Post, Kuala Rui; * Camp 304, Grik; and * Bukit Jenalik, Sauk, Kuala Kangsar; between June and July 6 last year.

The offence under section 121 of the Penal Code is punishable with death or imprisonment for life and if not sentenced to death shall also be liable to a fine.

Abdul Gani said the group's objective to overthrow the Government could be gauged from the collection of firearms and the findings of the pamphlets, but also from the action of the group members.

He said there was evidence in court which stated that there were cries of Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) and jihad (holy war) by the group members at the hill, which were meant to raise their spirits.

He said there was also evidence that Mohd Amin had asked one of the witnesses, Sjn Mohd Shah Ahmad, how many ulama (theologians) he had killed and how many Pas ceramah had not been given permits.

Hearing before judge Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin continues.

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12 March 2001


KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) -- The Mahaguru and silat instructors from 21 martial arts organisations and associations today called on opposition parties to cancel plans to hold street demonstrations.

Their spokesman Datuk Haji Omardin Mauju said they should place the country and people's interests above their political agenda.

"We pledge to play our role to maintain the prevailing peace and stability in the country," he told reporters after a special meeting with the 5.3-million strong silat associations.

Omardin, who is the Mahaguru and founder of Pertubuhan Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia, said they have been silent over the street demonstrations staged by certain groups as it was an issue to be tackled by political parties.

"Nevertheless, of late street demonstrations have reached a stage that can threaten public peace and national security," he said.

"We feel the demonstrations have exceeded political limits," he said.

Asked whether members of self-defence organisations and associations participated in the street protests, Omardin said they have not received any reports or complaints on their members' involvement in such activities.

"Actually, we've been monitoring the demonstrations and arrests made by police. So far, there've been no reports of our members' involvement," he said.

Following the meeting, a memorandum pledging loyalty and support to the government was sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

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11 March 2001


PUTRAJAYA, March 10 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysians who oppose street demonstrations should state their stand if they want to see peace preserved in the country.

He said by keeping silent they only gave the perpetrators the impression that they had the blessing and support of those who were actually anti-street demonstrations.

"Some quarters argue that if they condemn street demonstrations they would appear to be pro-government. This does not necessarily mean so, but (it means that) they are simply peace-loving," he said.

Dr Mahathir was speaking at a meeting with a 21-member delegation from silat and martial arts associations at Seri Perdana, the prime minister's official residence here today.

Earlier, the delegation, claiming to represent about 5.3 million martial arts exponents of various races nation-wide, handed over to the prime minister a memorandum calling for a stop to street demonstrations planned by any political party.

The delegation also declared support and loyalty to the elected government in the interest of prolonged peace and national stability.

Dr Mahathir said disenchanted citizens could change the government through general elections.

"In Malaysia, there is no restriction on choosing who should be the government," he said.

The prime minister cited past examples of the opposition ruling Penang and Sabah and now Kelantan and Terengganu are opposition-run states.

Dr Mahathir said toppling the government through street demonstrations would not benefit anyone except that any semblance of disorder would only frighten away investors,both local and foreign.

"All will eventually lose out when the country is destabilised," he said.

Dr Mahathir said the government of the day was legitimately elected by the people through a general election which gave the ruling party two-thirds majority.

He said a government illegally installed would also be similarly unseated by dissatisfied groups later.

The prime minister said street demonstrations would also erode the credibility of the law enforcers when policemen were challenged and abused, for instance.

The prime minister advised students in particular not to allow themselves to be tools to organisers of street demonstrations.

"While we have fought hard to gain independence so that they can acquire knowledge, there are others who instigate them to demonstrate," he said.

Getting involved in street demonstrations only showed that students were unappreciative of the opportunities and funding provided by the government for them to get educated, said Dr Mahathir who likened the situation to throwing money down the drain.

The prime minister advised martial art organisations in the country to remind their members, especially students to concentrate on their studies while mastering the art of self-defence.

"The aim is not to attack others but for self-defence and to defend peace," he said.

Dr Mahathir expressed appreciation to the delegation for stating its stand of rejecting street demonstrations.

Master of Seni Silat Lincah Association of Malaysia Datuk Omardin Mauju, who led the delegation, handed over the memorandum to Dr Mahathir.

Senior officials of the national Shito-Ryu Karate-Do, Goshin-Ryu-Karate, Shorin-Ryu Karate, Kokusai Jujutsu Ryu associations, the Global Taekwondo Confederation of Malaysia, Yoshinkan Aikido and the Kalari Payat Association of Malaysia were also in the delegation.

Meanwhile,at the meeting Dr Sabree Salleh of the Malaysian Taekwondo Confederation was appointed founding chairman of the Waja Diri Council of Malaysia, a proposed umbrella body for all the silat and martial art organisations represented in the delegation to today's meeting with Dr Mahathir.

Dr Sabree requested Dr Mahathir to be council patron and in response the prime minister said his office would positively consider the invitation.

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