Cycling with the Sultan

“Biar kita basah!” (Let’s get wet!). That was on the lips of over a thousand Perakeans, clad in orange T-shirts and in high spirits, as they were flagged off by Sultan Nazrin Shah and Raja Permaisuri Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim at the start of the much-awaited cycling event, “Kayuhan Muhibbah Bersama Rakyat” organised by the Ipoh City Council recently.The starting point was at Dataran MBI or MBI Square, Ipoh.

The heavy rain, which fell at the beginning of the event, did not dampen the cyclists’ spirits as they completed the 8-km ride around the city in the company of the royal couple.

Children, adults and 40 teams from organisations such as Istana Kuala Kangsar, Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), The Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM), Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), Perak Tourism, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (Ipoh and Taiping branch), Ipoh Barat Puteri UMNO and Taiping Municipal Council were seen riding bicycles, tandems and trishaws.

There was also a competition for the best LED-decorated bicycles, where cash prizes of RM1000, RM750 and RM500 were given to the top three winners.

Sam, 27, a policeman told Ipoh Echo, “It’s exciting to be able to cycle with our Sultan and Raja Permaisuri. This is my second time joining such an event. I hope there’ll be more of such in the future.”

Karen, 44, who works as a merchandising manager, was overwhelmed by the presence of the royal couple, as this was her first cycling event of such significance. “Yes, of course,” she told Ipoh Echo excitedly when asked if she hoped for more similar activities.

Salman, a student who treats cycling as a sport from young, echoed the same sentiments, “This is my third time participating, and it makes me proud to be a Perakean cycling with the Sultan and Raja Permaisuri.” “I hope more Perakeans would take to cycling, as cycling is not only healthy but environmentally friendly,” said the 18-year-old.

During the press conference, MBI Secretary, Mohd Zakaria Zakuan, stated that this first-of-its-kind programme, aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and establishing closer rapport with the Sultan, was a huge success based on the overwhelming response. He foresaw more of such events coming Ipoh’s way.

Mei Kuan

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