Monday, September 14, 2015

Khairy: We’ll look into taking action against Pesaka

The Youth and Sports Ministry is studying the involvement of the National Silat Federation or Pesaka as the organiser of Wednesday’s Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu (people’s unity gathering).

Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he would discuss the matter with Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman if action is needed to be taken against the body.

Khairy said the objectives of the rally had been “changing day to day”, and if it was to celebrate Malaysia Day and to promote unity, then there was no issue of Pesaka being the organiser.

Pesaka is affiliated to the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

“Silat is not only sports but also part of a culture, particularly the Malay culture, so it goes beyond sports,” he said after launching the state-level Fit Malaysia programme here yesterday.

“However, I have to look at it properly, and consult the Sports Commissioner before making further comments,” Khairy said.

“Pesaka is unique in the sense that silat is not just about sports alone, it’s a form of art and culture, and therefore, it is one grey area.

“Silat has its sports component, for example ‘sports silat’ which is a competition in Sukma and SEA Games but at the same time, it is about expression of culture as well,” he added.

Khairy said Pesaka only received funds from the National Sports Council for its sports component, and not for other activities.

“I will discuss further with the Sports Commissioner to see if there is a need to take any action against the body,” he added.

Pesaka is registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and with the Sports Commissioner’s Office.

The silat federation enjoys funding from the ministry through the council in hiring coaches and sending exponents for major competitions abroad.

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