MALACCA (26/7/2022): The 19th edition of the World Pencak Silat Championship official opened its curtains today in a grand manner as the opening ceremony was officiated by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka Tun Mohd. Ali Mohd. Rustam.
Speaking to a crowd of more than one thousand people, Mohd. Ali congratulated the Malaysian National Silat Federation (PESAKA) for successfully organizing the championship and raising the bars of the tournament to a higher level.
He also conveyed his heartfelt appreciation to the President of the International Pencak Silat Federation (PERSILAT), Datuk Seri Prabowo Subianto who is also the acting Minister of Defense of Indonesia for choosing Melaka as the host for this year’s championship.
“First and foremost, I would like to convey my congratulations to Datuk Seri Prabowo for sustaining his position as the President of the International Pencak Silat Federation (PERSILAT).
Under his leadership, silat has expanded to 85 countries and I am confident that silat will continue to expand throughout the world in the years to come,” he said.
Mohd. Ali also emphasized on the initiative taken by PESAKA and the National Heritage Department in creating a milestone moment for Malaysia by successfully listing SILAT as a list of Human Intangible Cultural Heritage under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
He further iterated, on how silat has thousands of practitioners all over the world including from the likes of Europe, Central Asia, East Asia and Africa.
“Silat needs to be preserved and protected for this art form to sustain its longevity and relevance within our society. Once upon a time, silat was only a combat sport in the archipelago, but now it can be learnt by anyone around the world,” he added.
Prior to that, Datuk Seri Prabowo evoked the Malaysian and international silat exponents on the basic philosophy of silat. He told the athletes to forbid themselves from using the art-form for negative purposes while embracing it to find goodness within themselves.
“The meaning of pencak silat in Malay and Indonesian is to defend oneself, family, the vulnerable and the nation. Pencak silat shall not be used to develop hatred. A pencak silat warrior must always stick to his or her principle, which is to defend the vulnerable,” he said.
The official opening ceremony was also graced by the Chief Minister of Melaka Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md. Ali, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Abdul Razak whom is the advisor to PESAKA, President of PESAKA Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin, Melaka State Senior Exco for Investment, Industry and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Seri Ab. Rauf Yusoh who is also the co-chairman of the championship, President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia Tan Sri Norza Zakaria and several ambassadors from the participating countries.
The 19th World Pencak Silat Championship which is scheduled to take place from today till the 31st of July will feature approximately 1,000 participants from 30 countries.
The championship which is set to take place in the historic land of Melaka is proven to be significant considering the state is laden with important events related to the Malay warriors who were once famous for defending Malaysia during the Malacca Sultanate.
The championship which was supposed to be held in Sarawak a couple of years ago had to be postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Malaysia aims to win seven gold medals out of its 32 contested events and will surely receive a fierce challenge from their fierce rival namely Indonesia in addition to Vietnam and Thailand who also sent a large contingent.
India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, and the United States are among the nations that have confirmed their participation in the 19th edition of the World Pencak Silat Championship.
The participants of this championship will also be introduced to compete on a stage, unlike the previous editions where silat exponents were used to combat on the floor covered with floor mats.