SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council Chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said the Malaysian government is encouraging the development of wushu sports in the country.
He said excellent wushu exponents were not only given strong recognition for their contribution to the country but were also given extra incentive and appreciation for their achievements.
“This will augur well for the development of the sport which is gaining strong popularity among the people in the country,” he added at the opening of the 6th edition of the Borneo International Wuishu Championship held at SMK Sacred Heart yesterday.
His speech was delivered by his personal secretary Tang Tung King.
A total of 246 wushu exponents from 16 teams throughout the country, including the Wushu Federation of Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia East Java Wushu team took part in the championship.
The other teamsfrom outside the state are Low Kim Fun Taiji Class and Zen Wushu Academy from Johore and Persatuan Taijiquan from Selangor.
The local teams are Dongbeibei Taiji Wushu Academy, CMAA, SMAA, Jing Ying Dragon & Lion Dance Association, SMK Sacred Heart Wushu team, Miri Wushu Association, Chinese Culture Art Association Peng Yang team, SMk Tinggi Sarikei and SMK Deshon Sibu.
Each year, he said the government gave special incentives and allowance to ensure that the development of the Chinese martial arts was sustained and carried out.
“As a result, we have today built a strong wushu foundation and the standard of our wushu exponents are almost on par, if not better, then the wushu exponents from throughout the world. We are coming of age and we can offer a strong challenge to our opponents whenever our exponents step into the ring,” he added.
Earlier, in his brief address, SMAA president Yung Dah Loo said he was happy to note the increasing number of teams taking part in the championship.
“Each year, we managed to attract an increasing number of participants. All this is good for the development of the sport.”