Towards a greener Penang

Pleasant time: The cyclists on their 15km journey along the promenade near Queensbay Mall

SOME 1,000 cyclists embarked on a 15km journey along the promenade near Queensbay Mall as part of a campaign to promote cycling in Penang.

The cyclists, most of them clad in purple T-shirts distributed by the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP), were made up of adults and children alike who were all eager to begin the journey.

Organised by CAP for the 13th time, the cycling campaign was also held in conjunction with the Buy Malaysian Products Expo and World Ozone Day.

It was jointly organised with the state Department of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism and the state Department of Environment.

In his speech, CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said it would be a waste not to use the bicycle as a solution to the increasing transport problems in Penang.

“It will also help consumers save on transport costs.

“Cycling is not just for recreation and exercise.

“It should be made into a popular transport mode. For that to happen, we need safe cycling lanes.

“We want our authorities to change their current mindset which gives priority to cars.

“The inefficient car is rewarded with maximum infrastructure facilities while cyclists and pedestrians are marginalised indirectly,” he said.

He urged the Penang Government to establish safer cycling lanes in town and housing estates.

“We also need safe parking spaces at public converging points such as wet markets, shopping complexes and government departments,” he said.

He added that the government should declare one of the Saturdays a National Cycling Day to promote cycling in Malaysia.

Among the youngest partici- pants was seven-year-old Ivan Ng.

The shy little boy nodded when asked if he was tired and shook his head when asked if the journey was difficult for him.

His mother Chew Poh Cheng, 41, a senior finance manager, said they liked to join such healthy events where they can spend time together as a family.

Her husband, Ng Kok Meng, 42, a construction manager and another son Shawn Ng, 13, were part of the campaign too.

A Hash House Harrier club veteran, Gurdial Singh, 52, was one rider who cycled extra carefully as he was carrying his five-year-old daughter Sanjeet Kaur in the front basket.

“She almost fell asleep during the ride.

“It is a good and cool ride in the morning. The traffic was well- controlled too,” he said.

Five participants also walked away with brand new bicycles in a lucky draw after the event.

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