THE marked improvement shown by the silat squad has significantly raised their profile and this is one sport where the government, will from now, provide full support in preparation for the Sea Games.
Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek explained that silat, unlike most sports, is an indigenous Southeast Asian sport and for which the Sea Games is of high importance.
"This is why we have to look at silat differently, because it is a matter of pride between the countries in this region. In fact, it is a sport which we consider our own, so it should also be surprising that a country like Vietnam can dominate this sport," said Ahmad Shabery.
Malaysia ended their Sea Games silat campaign with four gold and six bronze medals -- second in the overall silat standings behind Vietnam, who registered six gold, four silver and one bronze medal.
"It is also a sport that is important to Indonesia, so definitely as hosts of the next Sea Games, they will be preparing all out to improve on their disappointing outing this time around.
"So, we too have to start thinking about the next Sea Games and how our silat exponents are going to be prepared." NST