KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman launched two schemes, costing a total of RM10 million, to encourage the participation of youths in business and sports during a ceremony in Sandakan today.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme Sabah (YESS) and Youth Excellence in Sports Scheme Sabah (YESSS) are expected to benefit 3,500 youths in the state.
Speaking while officiating at a state-level martial arts festival, Musa said ancient Malays were portrayed as great at martial arts and being selfless in defending their nation.
“Such a fighting spirit should be inculcated among Sabahans, particularly the youths, who need to be dynamic and always strive to enrich their minds and souls, apart from having a big heart,” he said.
“Martial arts can be manifested as a healthy lifestyle choice. Sabah can become an excellent martial arts hub. This will boost the state’s image, nationally and internationally.
“Towards this end, the Sabah government will always encourage such martial arts events to boost their popularity among youths.”
Musa said each individual and family should practise a healthy lifestyle by taking part in any recognised self defence activity.
“If Sabahans become well-known throughout the country as being highly disciplined because of their involvement in martial arts, it’d be a source of pride for us,” he said.
“Such an image and ‘trend’ will have a positive impact on the stability and prosperity of Sabah.
“If the Japanese can be famous because of their life discipline, as inculcated by their Samurai life principles, then it’d be good if we can emulate this ideology to benefit our lives now and in future.”
Musa also congratulated the Sabah Silat Association and Sabah youth and sport ministry for organising the festival.
Iliyas Ibrahim, the association’s president, said the learning of silat needed to be upgraded.
“The association is now planning to cooperate with an institute to offer a diploma in silat,” he said.
“Towards this end, we’d like to make our request again to the state government to grant us land for a silat academy in Sabah.”
Iliyas said some 1,500 members of 50 martial art associations, including those from Sarawak, took part in the event.
Musa was also bestowed with a silat award, the Tokoh Pendekar Utama Pencak Silat Sabah, during the festival.