KUALA TERENGGANU - R. Ragu's cycling expedition with his two daughters to commemorate Merdeka Day turned nasty when they were robbed by two men on motorcycles here.
Ragu and his daughters Nithya Rubhini, 15, and Nithya Darshini, 12, had reached Kuala Ibai, about 5km from the city centre, at about 7.30am yesterday when they were robbed.
His wife G. Neelawathi, who was driving a car as an assistant behind her family, said that two men on a motorcycle had initially stopped them and asked for permission to take pictures with them.
"We agreed to their request. But then one of them took out a knife and ordered us to surrender our cash and valuables.
"We had no choice but to comply. They escaped with RM2,600 and an iPad, which they took from the car," she said after lodging a report with Ragu at the district police headquarters.
She said she pleaded with the robbers to leave them alone but to no avail.
"They even took RM300 that had been donated by other people during our journey," Neelawathi added.
She said the family would still carry on with the expedition despite the robbery.
"We will not let the criminals dampen our patriotic spirit," she added.
Ragu's target is to cycle through several areas in Peninsular Malaysia to commemorate National Day on Aug 31.
He and his family had so far cycled some 2,800km through several states.
The Star had earlier reported that the family had reached Malacca when they discovered that a hotel stay sponsored by a non-governmental organisation did not materialise.
The management of the Philea Resort and Spa later offered the family meals and accommodation.
The family's first expedition was in 2012 when they walked from Malacca to Alor Setar.