THE Federal Territories Ministry has launched its inaugural virtual silat festival at Menara Seri Wilayah in Putrajaya.
The event – Festival Seni Silat – also created history by earning itself two entries in the Malaysia Book of Records.
The first entry recognised it as the first virtual silat festival while the second spot was for the most number of silat forms in a virtual demonstration.
There were 46 silat forms from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kelantan, Pahang, Melaka, Perlis, Perak and Labuan in the show.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim, who launched the event, said there were 446 silat forms in Malaysia.
“I hope the ministry’s effort in gathering 46 forms in one demonstration will raise the image of silat in the eyes of the world,” he said.
Also present were Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias, secretary-general Datuk Seri Hajah Rosida Jaafar and Kuala Lumpur National Silat Federation president Datuk Mohamed Nazari Ahmad.
Shahidan said the ministry planned to build permanent silat arenas in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan soon for local martial art exponents to conduct activities and showcase the cultural heritage of the country to visitors.
He said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) had recognised silat as an intangible cultural heritage in humanity in 2019.
“It is my hope that the Unesco recognition, combined with this virtual festival, will further boost the development of silat in the country,” he said.
The three-day festival included the National Open Virtual Martial Arts Tournament 2021.
There were also other activities and seminars, aside from a symposium with a panel of silat masters discussing the development and issues surrounding the martial art form.