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Athletes show off their national pride as Merdeka Day approaches

August 26, 2018 10:02 AM
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GEORGE TOWN: As the nation marks the 61st National Day celebrations with the annual pomp and splendour, citizens from all walks of life mark the occasion through their own unique approaches.

In Kampung Bukit Pelanduk at Permatang Pauh, two friends have set off on some 380km bicycle ride to mark the occasion.

"We want to instil the spirit of patriotism in conjunction with our Independence Day celebrations," said Shahrizal Ahmad, aged 31, a lad who studied at SMK Tanjung Bungah here.

His companion is a friend he calls Uncle; Steven Lee Bee Huat, aged 53, who has also decided to tag along with Shahrizal for the gruelling ride which is expected to take a few days owing to the distance covered – some 380km one-way.

Their journey will be broadcast through the social media networks of Facebook and Instagram via the login of Jose Rizal II.

Over at the Penang Swimming Club, the Young Muslim Sports Club – a non-governmental organisation plans to unfurl the "Jalur Gemilang" national flag which measures 514m in length.

Some 500 volunteers will also erect the Penang state flag which measures 300 meters along the same area.

Meanwhile, Bernama reports the efforts of a 35-year-old disabled biker who will be making an attempt to get into the Malaysian Book of Records (MBR) for the Longest Distance Single Handed Motorcycle Ride.

A. Santana Dass, who is a person with disabilities (OKU) will be attempting to travel a minimum distance of 5,922km from Penang on Sept 16, crossing to Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore for 14 days by himself only with his left hand on a modified Yamaha R25 bike.

Santana lost his right arm three years ago when he was involved in a motorbike-lorry collision at Macalister Road, and he was hospitalised for eight days in a High Dependency Unit (HDU) ward.

"Disabilities will never stop me to try anything that is new. Stigma and an incorrect perception that people with disabilities do not want to or cannot participate in sporting activities is one of the biggest barriers that I would like to overcome," he told a press conference here.

Despite the loss of his arm, Santana said his disability did not make him lose his patriotism for his country, and was willing to face challenges to motivate himself as well as to set a good example to others.

He plans to show his love for the country by covering his bike with stickers of the Malaysian flag and he will be attaching a bigger Malaysia flag to the bike during the flag off session.

"The longest journey that I have travelled thus far was from Penang to Singapore and it had been successfully attempted several times, and this attempt to set the new record was is also supported by my wife, E. Poovaneswari, and my four children," he said.

According to him, the only modification for the 250cc super bike was the alteration of its throttle from right to left and the record for the Longest Distance Single Handed Motorcycle Ride has yet to be set in neither MBR nor the Guinness World Record.


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