|COVID–19 NEWS||Worried over family's safety, student remains in campus to celebrate Aidilfitri | Commonwealth leaders' meeting postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 | Badminton: Malaysia Open postponed due to surge in COVID-19 cases | Police reject 583 applications for inter-state travel at LTSAAS | 70,000 IPT students return home in stages from today - Noraini ||
By Ahmad Nazrin Syahmi Mohamad Arif
KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 -- The construction of the National Silat Complex which had already been approved prior to this, must be continued in order to create an iconic landmark showcasing silat as the country's official martial art, says National Silat Federation of Malaysia (Pesaka) president Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin.
He said the chosen site for the project reported to be worth RM160 million in the heart of the capital was also apt, as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) had recognised silat as the country’s national heritage in 2019.
Megat Zulkarnain, who was unanimously picked to helm Pesaka’s top post recently said efforts to revive the implementation of the project which had been postponed would be one of his immediate priorities.
"Silat is Malaysia's intangible cultural heritage, so that's why if we want to ensure that this (recognition) is preserved, we must have a symbol.
"It means we need a place so that people (tourists) who come to see silat...Malaysia will have a place for them to see what the art of silat really is, that’s why the construction of the complex is very important to show that this is a national silat landmark," he told Bernama.
Megat Zulkarnain said with the Malay martial art receiving due recognition, the complex would also complete the aspirations for young silat exponents across the country to have a ‘silat court’ to be proud of.
"Don’t just give us recognition, but then nothing else. We are not asking for money, we are just asking for the construction process to be carried out quickly. The most important thing is that we have a martial arts landmark, befitting of the recognition given," he said.
In 2019, a UNESCO committee meeting in Bogota, Colombia attended by 24 selected member states recognised silat as Malaysia’s third Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity after mak yong in 2008 and dondang sayang in 2018.