| Universiti Putra Malaysia

Folk sports shape student personality of Madani

By: Nurul Ezzaty Mohd Azhari

SERDANG, January 25 – Recently, Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, launched the concept of ’Developing a Malaysia Madani’, consisting of six core pillars, which are M (Sustainability), A (Prosperity), D (Innovation), A (Respect), N (Trust) dan I (Compassion).

Malaysia Madani is seen as a step to uphold the country’s dignity and respect as a prosperous nation based on six core pillars.

Through this concept, all Malaysians, regardless of rank and social class, as well as students who are studying, will need to support this effort to build a civilised nation and produce excellent human capital.

Folk sports participated by students is a form of unification of well-being and upholding of mutual respect and cooperation within teams regardless of race and age.

In the meantime, this initiative is seen as the best platform to uphold and bring back the cultural heritage of traditional games that often becomes the attention, and such activities had united the nation in the past, before the existence of smart technology.

In addition to strengthening the high spirit of sportsmanship among students, the organisation of folk sports is also seen as capable of producing students with Madani personalities.

For example, most traditional games in folk sports test the ability to think, such as, congkak, traditional wau, sepak raga, kabaddi, and marbles can produce students who are smart thinkers.

Developing a student’s personality to become intelligent could contribute good suggestions and think critically in conveying ideas for forming a better nation.

Creative and critical thinking exercises are formed through the spirit of wanting to win a game and train them to become first-class students.

Students are now required to be more courageous, possess good leadership characteristics and have noble character. Therefore, their efforts in participating in folk sports activities indirectly train them to be a leader and act prudently to ensure harmony and victory of their respective teams.

Unknowingly, the involvement of students in sports activities actually trains them to have discipline in order always to be well-behaved, create social interaction among members and steer the team with good leadership qualities.

In addition to having good knowledge and discipline in the classroom, students need to train themselves to do the same thing with the community so that the country can elevate the civilisation of Malaysians.

Last January 15, the Tan Sri Mustaffa Babjee College (KMB), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), organised a folk sports event, ’the Sukan Rakyat Piala Tan Sri Mustaffa Babjee 2023 (SURAK 2023)’, which had successfully attracted the interest of 319 students to relive the nostalgia.

The response from students highlighted the cultural heritage of Malaysian society, which is still maintained, although this generation was born in a modern world full of technology and is no stranger to video games.

SURAK 2023 presented eight traditional games: pick-up sticks, congkak, arm wrestling, checkers, galah panjang, kabaddi, tin can knock-down and tug of war through two categories, male and female.

In addition, Chairman of the UPM College Principal Board also took part in the tin can knock-down to liven up the programme and test their dexterity after leaving the game as teenagers.

The team spirit among UPM students clearly revived goodwill among the residential college community and built a cheerful atmosphere.

Therefore, this kind of programme should be implemented continuously and used as a platform for the survival of cultural heritage, especially traditional Malaysian games, to shape an excellent personality among students. -UPM