Pak Wan cycled to Kuala Lumpur in 1960 to witness Merdeka celebrations

KOTA BHARU Witnessing the National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur after cycling for 11 days in 1960 was an experience that forever etched in the memory of septuagenarian cyclist Wan Hashim Wan Mahmood or better known as Pak Wan.

 

Pak Wan who was only 14 years old then, saw the then prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, chanting the sacred word “Merdeka” which has since become a source of motivation for him to reenact the experience by cycling to Merdeka Stadium one day, but he will be doing it alone this time around.

 

“In the past, I used to cycle in group or convoy from Kota Bharu to Kuala Lumpur but today, at the age of 74, I am cycling solo to Kuala Lumpur.

 

 

 

“I want to prove my love for the country and it is enough for me to recall the experience seeing thousands of people so happy celebrating the National Day,” he told Bernama before embarking on his 2020 Merdeka Solo Cycling at his house in Jalan Telipot here today.

 

The flag off ceremony was officiated by Kelantan Red One Network branch sales manager Daniel Leoh together with Kelantan Darulnaim Media Club (Kemudi) deputy president Zabidi Ishar.

 

During his solo cycling mission, Pak Wan brought along a message of unity to all races in the country to build the nation by avoiding strife.

 

 

He is expected to return home on Aug 31 and to create a new record in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBOR) as the Oldest Person to Cycle Around Peninsular Malaysia nine times.

 

Recalling his memory cycling for 500 km to Kuala Lumpur in 1960, Pak Wan said that he cycled to the city together with 14 friends.

 

“I found out that a group of cyclists wanted to go to Merdeka Stadium to celebrate the National Day. All of them were older than me and initially refused to allow me to join them as I was too young,” he said.

 

However, the friends relented and they were among the tens of thousands of Malaysians who were at the Merdeka Stadium to see the National Day parade on that special day.

 

“I could not describe my feelings when I saw Tunku chanting “Merdeka”. A mixture of happiness and everything else. That was when I realised how difficult it was for us to gain independent for our country,” said Pak Wan who stayed in the capital for a few days then before returning to Kelantan by boarding train from Port Klang.

 

Meanwhile, Leoh said that his company was impressed with Pak Wan’s determination despite his age.

 

“We, young people at Red One, will embrace Pak Wan’s spirit to build the country together with fellow Malaysians of various races,” he said.

 

In 2014, Pak Wan set the MBOR record for the first time as the oldest man to successfully cycle solo around the Peninsula for 2,200 km.

 

 

Source: BERNAMA News Agency