Four Malaysians to cycle 29,000km for the Palestinians

PETALING JAYA - Four Malaysians will cycle from Sheffield in Britain to Putrajaya to raise awareness on the homeless and Palestinian refugees.

If everything goes according to plan, the journey early next month will see them going through 22 countries and travelling a total of 29,000km.

From Britain, they will cycle across several European countries to Turkey and subsequently to Iran, Pakistan, China, Indo-China, Thailand before making their way home to Malaysia.

Depending on funds, their journey could take anything from six to 17 months.

Calling themselves Sick Siders Malaysia, team leader Badrul Hisham Burhanuddin, 24, who is doing his masters in mechanical engineering at the University of Sheffield said the plight of the homeless was something that needed to be highlighted.

"Even in developed countries, there are many homeless people.

Something needs to be done for them," he said via a telephone interview.

He personally came across the cause when he volunteered with a charity that dealt with the homeless in Britain.

Badrul also said that the Palestinian cause was very close to their hearts.

The three other Malaysian riders are Adib Mohamad Ali, 25, Azrulhan Mohd Shafei, 25, and Hafidz Hamid, 22.

They left Malaysia to join Badrul last week.

Badrul estimated that they would need about RM100,000 (S$ 39,000) for the ride. So far, they have raised about RM20,000.

He said they were still looking for sponsors and that one third of the sponsored money would be donated to the Homeless International and Refugees of Palestine under the Israa Institution.

The rest of the money will be used to support their expenses such as food, clothing, and equipment.

Badrul acknowledged that there would be many challenges during the trip, especially the treacherous conditions that could include snow and a desert crossing, among others.

He added that they would be carrying the Malaysian flag along with them on their trip.

"We hope to promote Malaysia to the people who don't know about our beautiful country," he said.