PUTRAJAYA: Seven students and two lecturers with one mission – to raise the Jalur Gemilang at Everest Base Camp on Malaysia Day.
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) aeronautic engineering lecturer Dr Nur Kamilah Yusuf said the students approached her with the idea to trek to the camp last year.
Since last September, they have been training by hiking up six mountains in Malaysia and Indonesia to build their endurance.
They are Gunung Arong and Gunung Lambak in Johor, Gunung Stong in Kelantan along with Gunung Semeru, Gunung Kerinci and Gunung Bromo in Indonesia.
The team would face tough conditions, including extreme temperatures ranging from 15°C to -10°C.
“But these students are committed to their goal,” she said.
Student Kevin Kee Chie Huong, 21, said they chose the Everest camp to challenge themselves and to gain new exposure.
“This is also an opportunity for us to see the world,” he said.
Although all seven of them are athletes, they have never attempted such a huge challenge. The team will leave for their expedition on Sept 6 and return to Malaysia on Sept 22.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik wished the team good luck in their quest to reach the world’s highest base camp at 5,637m.
“The expedition to the Everest Base Camp is a noble effort to raise the name of the country in the world and I am very proud of the initiative by the students,” he said during the flag-off ceremony at his office yesterday.
He said in this “new Malaysia and new Education Ministry”, students would be empowered, and as such, they should take the initiative to organise and be involved in initiatives outside the lecture halls to gain wider knowledge.
Dr Maszlee said such outdoor activity could build a student’s soft-skills such as communication, competitiveness and camaraderie.
He also appealed to the public and to private companies to sponsor the expedition as the team still needed about RM100,000 in funds.
The team also includes UTHM mechanical engineering lecturer Dr Nor Azali Azmir, students Khairul Firdaus Mohd Talib, Putra Nur Addin Abdullah, Ham Wen Jun, Atiq Saifullah Lokman Hakim, Muhammad Haznan Hanafi and Sashven Nagalingam.