The Singapore Silat Federation’s (SSF) Chief Executive Officer Sheik Alau’ddin is confident that his athletes will be able to deliver a best-ever result this year in the upcoming SEA Games at Kuala Lumpur. Although the traditional silat powerhouse Indonesia, hosts Malaysia and Vietnam are expected to put in strong performances, Sheik Alau’ddin has set a target of five gold medals from his Silat team to erase the team’s disappointment of clinching only one gold medal in the 2015 SEA Games.
Sheik Alau’ddin is hopeful that the upcoming SEA Games will do Singapore proud and make silat recognized in the world stage which will ultimately place silat in the Olympics. To do this, Sheik Alau’ddin has proposed to the International Pencak Silat Federation to introduce an electronic competition and scoring system to improve the way silat’s tanding events are scored and officiated. The system is modelled after taekwondo, which introduced headgear and chest guards with proximity and impact sensors, as well as footpads lined with magnets to activate sensors, at the Rio Olympic Games last year.
He stressed that the sport needs to change if it wants to build a strong case for inclusion at the Olympics. “Ultimately, we have to make changes for improvement. I’m sick and tired of all this. We have to make changes, the current scoring system is not clear cut or transparent. It will definitely help our chances at the Olympics if this is implemented. That way, everybody will be happy. The athletes train and fight, and if the system is correct, you cannot accuse the judges anymore.”