MELAKA, July 31 — The martial art of silat plays a vital role in ensuring that Malay culture is well-known and continues to spread globally, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
He said silat has also been proven effective as a bridge between the Malay culture and the outside world, as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of silat exponents from Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and Africa.
As such, he said that the long-standing tradition of silat should be preserved so that its values can continue to be instilled into society.
“We should be proud because the world of Malay silat has seen various achievements and success, and has been acknowledged as the official national martial arts.
“Recently, Pesaka (the Malaysian National Silat Federation) and the National Heritage Department have successfully listed silat under the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity category by United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (Unesco), another great achievement for Malaysia,” he said during his speech at the close of the 2022 World Silat Pencak Championship at the Melaka International Trade Centre here tonight.
He also announced an allocation of RM1 million to Pesaka in appreciation of the contribution of silat exponents and to help Pesaka boost silat at the international level.
“Silat is now expanding widely not only in this region but in other countries around the world.
“I hope that silat will continue to be practised by the current and future generations so that it will continue to be preserved and remains relevant,” he said.
He said the organising of the silat championship in Melaka was very meaningful as it recalled the Malay Melaka sultanate and its many important events related to famous Malay warriors, who fought to defend their religion and homeland, especially during its golden era.
“The organisation is a very big honour for the country, as we host over 40 countries who are taking part in this championship.
“Malaysia is proud and honoured to be able to organise this world-class sporting event and hope there will be many more such prestigious sporting events in the future,” he said.
Ismail Sabri also praised the impact of the local film Mat Kilau that is currently playing in cinemas in the country for boosting the membership of silat associations. “I believe many who have watched the film have been inspired by the struggle and bravery of Malay warriors and Mat Kilau against occupation. The film’s impact is extraordinary, not only has it collected over RM90 million in just 33 days, but silat associations have received many new members expressing their interest in learning this martial arts form.
“This clearly shows the influence of silat that displays high fighting spirit, and the way silat is portrayed, along with Malay culture, has impacted Malaysians to learn more about it,” he added. — Bernama