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Najib goes the distance in Penang
September 26th, 2011 by Najib Razak
GEORGETOWN: Despite having undergone knee surgery barely two months ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak cycled seven kilometres, even knowing there was an exit point for him after the 1km mark.
“I completed the route because I came here in the spirit of raising money for education,” he said at the end of the 1Malaysia Charity Ride for Education 2011 cycling event.
Najib took about 30 minutes to complete the ride.
He was accompanied on the ride by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Penang Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman and 5,000 schoolchildren.
“Thank you for allowing me to relive my childhood. The last time I rode a bicycle was almost 50 years ago when I often cycled from my home (Perdana Lake Gardens) to the Tangling Hospital for my favourite nasi lemak one of the best in the country.
“I would go with just 30sen or 50sen in my pocket,” he gushed at the end of the ride.
Najib confessed that he was apprehensive about the ride and had spent the night before cycling along the hotel’s corridors to “practise” before the event.
His presence had people here delighted and scrambling with their cameras to immortalise the memory of him cycling along with Penang’s youth.
But for Dr Koh the cycle ride saw him land in trouble.
“Two other bicycles crashed into me while overtaking. I couldn’t brake in time and fell off my bicycle.
“I received a knock on my knee but I am all right,” he said.
“He returned to the finish line on a motorcycle.
Earlier before the ride began, a sea of Jalur Gemilang flooded the venue as students clad in 1Malaysia T-shirts had brought along the flags to welcome Najib.
Amidst loud cheers and shouts of 1Malaysia, the premier hopped onto a gleaming black bicycle to lead the riders along the scenic 7km route from Tanjong Tokong to Gurney Drive, and back, yesterday morning.
The premier who arrived five minutes before the 7.30am flag-off at Straits Quay, was greeted by Lim and more than 20,000 students waving the Jalur Gemilang.
Funds raised through the event by the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the public, will be used for building repairs, infrastructure upgrades and academic activities.
1MDB also presented 5,000 bicycles to schoolchildren who participated in the event.