Kuala Lumpur – The National Silat Federation (Pesaka) has criticised the so-called silat demonstration by an anti-Bersih group outside the Sogo shopping complex on Tuesday, saying it tarnished the image of the sport.
Its secretary-general Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin said the demonstration by the ‘red shirt’ group, who were seen breaking tiles and wood with their heads and body, was a gross misrepresentation of the traditional art of self-defence.
“We wish to clarify that what you saw in the video, which has gone viral, does not represent the character of silat practitioners.
“Silat is a peaceful sport and is practiced by people who are able to control their anger and are very well disciplined, and not like what you saw (in the video),” Megat told reporters after a solat hajat organised by Pesaka at Masjid Negara on Friday.
He said Tuesday’s demonstration led by Sungai Besar Umno chief Datuk Jamal Yunos sent a wrong message to parents who wished to send their children for silat classes.
“They will think that this is what silat is about when it is actually not,” he said, adding that most silat practitioners were role models, who represented the country as athletes in national games.
“Unfortunately, due to one or two claims that the demonstration was part of silat, we are getting a bad name,” he said.
Pesaka, the body representing silat associations nationwide, organised the solat hajat before the Asar prayers to wish for peace and stability in the country.
Present were Pesaka chairman Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam and about 70 members from various silat associations nationwide.
Ali advised the members not to participate in any activities that were detrimental to parliamentary democracy and which could taint the country’s image, referring to the planned Bersih rally this weekend.
“I urge all Pesaka members and Malaysians in general not to take part in demonstrations such as Bersih, which brings no good to the country.
“We should heed the advice of the authorities and refrain from such activities that are not in the spirit of democracy,” he said.
Megat said Pesaka members were discouraged from taking part in the rally and would not hesitate to help protect the country if called upon to do so.
“In the event the country requires us to be with the Government and the security forces this nation, we will be there,” he added.