THE feeling of patriotism and a desire to relive the painful memories of past generations in the struggle for independence have prompted two friends to cycle 1,002 kilometres across six states.
Md Nasir Ahmad, 61, and Ishak Mohamad, 58, started the journey on Aug 25 from Alor Gajah, Melaka, to Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor and are expected to arrive back in Alor Gajah on Wednesday in conjunction with Malaysia Day.
Md Nasir said the trip was their initiative to trace the historical locations associated with independence fighters such as Mat Kilau, Dol Said, Datuk Bahaman and Tok Gajah.
“We were not born in the pre-independence era and did not have the opportunity to contribute like these special people who sacrificed their wealth and their lives for the country’s independence.
“However, we still have the opportunity to remember their contributions through this kind of expedition by studying the history of the struggle of the previous generations and learn from it to become better Malaysians, ” he said when met by reporters upon arrival in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, from Kota Baru, Kelantan, on Sept 8.
On the way to Kuala Terengganu, they stopped at Pantai Penarik, Setiu, to take a break while enjoying the beauty of the beach and the delicious seafood there.
Md Nasir is a former National Civics Bureau trainer while Ishak once served as special officer to former Deputy Home Minister Tan Sri Abu Seman Yusop.
In 2018, the two friends who have known each other since 2001 carried out their Merdeka trip on motorcycles while in 2019, they drove a four-wheel drive vehicle for their trip.
Meanwhile, Ishak said he was grateful and happy because the travel experience this time had received positive response from the local community at each of their stopover locations.
“At every stop, there were people who were willing to help us in all aspects such as sponsoring our accommodation, food and drinks as well as repair our bicycles for free, ” he said.
Commenting on the challenges faced during the cycling expedition, Ishak said the hot weather, the hilly terrain in some locations as well as being trapped for two hours in an estate farm at night during a storm was unforgettable. — Bernama