The Melaka state government through the Malacca Museum Corporation (PERZIM) held a Silat Festival and Award Ceremony for three days from 17 to 19 April 2015. Local, National and International dignitaries were present i.e; Chief minister of Malacca, the president of PESAKA (Malaysian National Silat Federation), and all dignitaries from Malacca as well as representatives from Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. The participants consisted of 53 Silat associations registered under PESAKA throughout the state with the cooperation of the Silat Association of Teachers of Malacca (Sigma).It also included the silat associations across the country representing each respective state and attracted participants from the Southeast Asian nation-states through the (DMDI) Dunia Melayu Dunia Islam.
The 3 main awards awarded by the Sultan of Melaka, Tun Khalil Yaakub were in respect of their contribution to Silat in Malaysia:
- LAKSAMANA HANG TUAH awarded to Tuan Guru Hj Mokhtar bin Hj Yahya
- SERIKANDI TUN FATIMAH awarded to Bibi Aisyah binti Golbal Shah
- SANG ADI PUTERA awarded to ALLAHYARHAM TUAN HJ SOTIN BIN MOHD ALI
Other awards were in honour of their acheivements in silat tournaments and events
- HANG LEKIR : Norazman bin Hj Naim
- DANG ANUM : Mariam bt Ali
- HANG KASTURI : Sham bin Hj Mohd Ghani
- TUN TEJA : Noorahizan bt Norsham
- TUN KUDU : Siti Sukma bt Buang
- HANG JEBAT : Ahmad Wardi bin Salim
- DANG MERDUWATI : Hadillah bt Hassan.
The Awards are named after famous Malaysian legendary silat warriors, with the Hang Tuah award being at the top. The founder of Seni Silat Pukulan Melaka, Tuan Guru Hj Mokhtar was handed this award due to his ongoing research on the silat skills of Hang Tuah based on the Malay Annals (Hikayat Hang Tuah). Hikayat Hang Tuah (Jawi: حکاية هڠ تواه) is a Malay work of literature that tells the tale of the legendary Malay Muslim warrior Hang Tuah and his four warrior friends - Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu - who lived during the height of the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century. The most memorable chapter in the work concerns a duel between Hang Tuah and his closest friend, Hang Jebat.
Hang Tuah as revealed in the story gives the impression that he is the found of the science and techniques of Malay Silat. Hang Tuah's silat may be considered to be one of the main pillars of the effectiveness of the Malay martial art. Tuan Hj Mokhtar has been officially requested by ISSMA (Institute Seni Melaka Malaysia) to create a standard type of silat style called "Silat Hang Tuah", which is based on the techniques of Hang Tuah. This standard silat also includes traditional weapons i.e Keris and Tombak, and will possibly be taught at primary and high school level in Melaka as well.
Various interesting displays and performances were held during the program. Silat demonstrations by various colleges, the making of Keris daggers and discourses about Hang Tuah kept the program alive. The Festival was held with the aim of raising awareness and appreciation of the arts in Melaka and in appreciation of organizations and individuals involved in the martial arts world.
Chairman of the Festival committee, Datuk Ab Rahaman Karim said that the involvement of the state government in the program was to promote, expose and revive the arts and culture to the younger generation. According to him, the effort and commitment shown by the state government through the organization of festivals like this ensures that the malay arts and cultural heritage and its precious treasures will not be forgotten. "This three-day program brings together enthusiasts, practitioners, students and practitioners of martial arts that can indirectly promote the love of the nation's cultural heritage to be preserved. Exposure to the younger generation of martial arts can enable them to appreciate the cultural heritage particularly teenagers, students and higher education institutions to continue this tradition. Through this program it can recognize the arts as intangible heritage that is able to contribute in the tourist industry which can attract more tourists to Melaka," he said.