SEPANG: The nation's leading media group and rising property developer Sunsuria Berhad have launched the Ride for Malaysia cycling event at Sunsuria City, Putrajaya South.
'Ride for Malaysia is an invitation to our fellow Malaysians to play an active role in promoting unity and patriotism. It is a call for all of us to stand in solidarity for our beloved nation - 'Tanah tumpahnya darahku, as our national anthem goes' - in good and bad times,' said Star Media Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai at the event yesterday.
'The simple but powerful act of coming out and cycling together instils a sense of patriotism as people of different races, creeds and backgrounds gather to celebrate our national holidays together. We hope that this will help to foster social bonding and unity,' he added.
The inaugural Ride for Malaysia cycling event, which takes place on July 30 at Sunsuria City, is part of the Raise the Flag initiative leading up to the National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations. Also part of this initiative is the Anak-Anak Malaysia Walk which follows later this year.
United vision: Ter and Wong (eighth and ninth from left in the back row), and participants of Ride for Malaysia celebrating the launch of the event at Celebration Centre, Sunsuria City in Sepang.
According to Sunsuria Berhad executive chairman Datuk Ter Leong Yap, Sunsuria City aims to set an example in advocating a 'smart, liveable, and sustainable lifestyle'.
'Bicycle tracks as well as landscaped walkways and waterways are prominent features in the development, making it an appropriate and scenic venue for the Ride for Malaysia event,' he said.
'Sunsuria Berhad is proud to be the Official Partner for the event,' he added, reiterating that continued development and prosperity as a nation depended on shared values as Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
The launch, held at the Celebration Centre at Sunsuria City, was graced by the presence of prominent figures, celebrities and avid cyclists, including Patrick Teoh, DJ Dave, Sharizan Borhan, Kavita Sidhu, Dr Lyana Khairuddin, Ras Angela Wong and David Chin. The official radio stations for the event are 988 and Suria.
'The joy of cycling around Malaysia on a bicycle tour is meeting different people along the way,' said actor, radio personality and avid cyclist Teoh.
'It dispels many of the prejudices that urban folks might have about Malaysians.'
'I think Ride for Malaysia is a good reason for Malaysians to come together as one, multi-culturally. This is what makes Malaysia special,' said singer, emcee and voice-over artiste Sharizan, another keen cyclist.
'Cycling is a good way to bring people together. As a cyclist riding on the streets, you find that people are united. When there's one man down in an accident, you can see everyone stopping to help, one man will hold back traffic, and another will go and assist the injured cyclist.'
He added: 'I think we need to promote cycling more, especially for the younger generation, rather than be caught up with our electronic gadgets and stuff. We need to get out and ride and enjoy our country.'
Actress, fashion designer and producer Kavita said Ride for Malaysia will bring people from all walks of life together to participate in something that's good for the country.
Model and former beauty queen Wong, who has bike-toured many parts of Malaysia, said: 'With traffic congestion on roads comes pollution. This can be reduced if more Malaysians cycle. Plus, it saves the cost of fuel and car maintenance.' .
'Cycling is good for everyone and can help reduce cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and abnormal blood pressure,' she added.
Virologist and Universiti Malaya academic Dr Lyana said sports always unites people, and that includes cycling.
'So this is a good effort to get people to come together, instead of all being in our own little silos,' she said.
Ride for Malaysia will flag off at 6.30am on July 30 from the Celebration Centre at Sunsuria City. There is a Fun Ride of 30km along nearby scenic routes (for individuals aged 16 and above, entry fee: RM60). There is also a Family Ride of 5.5km. The entry fees are RM40 (adults aged 18 and above) and RM25 (children aged 7-17). Register at: http://sites.thestar.com.my/rideformalaysia