IPOH, Sept 14 — The Sports Ministry will look into the alleged involvement of the National Silat Federation (Pesaka) as an organiser of the Himpunan Maruah Melayu scheduled for Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur.
The minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, said he would consult with Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman to determine if there were any issues with their alleged involvement.
“The objective of the red shirt rally has been changing day to day. Now it is a rally for Malaysia Day, for unity, so we have to check and see what the actual objectives are,” he said.
“If it is a rally to celebrate unity for Malaysia Day then there is no issue of Pesaka being the organiser, especially since silat is not just a sport but is also part of our culture, part of Malaysian culture, in particular, Malay culture.”
Questions are being asked as to why Pesaka, a body registered under the Sports Development Act 1997, is organising an event involving politics.
Pesaka’s dual registration, under the Sports Development Act and the Societies Act 1966, is also a point of contention as Section 16 of the Sports Development Act states that any sports body registered under the Societies Act shall cease to be registered and apply to the Sports Commissioner to be registered under the Sports Development Act to carry out sporting activities.
Asked about the dual registration, Khairy said Pesaka was “unique in that sense because silat is not just about sports”.
Because of its registration under the Sports Development Act, the federation receives funding from the Youth and Sports Ministry through the National Sports Council to hire coaches and take part in major competitions abroad.
Khairy said funding was only for the sports component and “not for the other parts of it”.
Earlier, Khairy together with Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, took part in a 30km bicycle ride around the city to mark the beginning of the Fit Malaysia programme in Perak.
He said the programme, launched in September last year, had covered most states with the exception of Penang and Selangor.