Najib cycles in KL Car-Free Morning

Najib riding with KL Car-Free Morning participants in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR - It was a pleasant surprise for some 10,000 cyclists participating in the fifth KL Car-Free Morning when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak joined in the event.

The Prime Minister, who arrived just before the flag-off at 7am in front of KLCC, lost no time in mingling with other cyclists before hopping onto his Avanti bicycle and pedalling around the city with the others.

Sporting a red jersey and red helmet, Najib covered half of the 6.5km route along Jalan Ampang and Jalan P. Ramlee before stopping to chat and pose for photographs with participants, some of which he later shared on his Facebook page.

Event chairman Datuk Naim Mohamad said the family-oriented event was aimed at promoting unity and a healthy lifestyle amongst city folk.

"About 700 cyclists took part in the pilot event last September with the number swelling to about 10,000 since it was held on the first Sunday of the month from January," he said yesterday.

Naim, who is also Malaysian National Cycling Federation deputy president, expressed hope that more people would join in the event to help promote KL as a green city.

Among those participating was the Netherlands Embassy's head of trade Anne de Graff, who said this was the fifth time she and several others from the embassy had taken part in the campaign.

Also spotted was the group from Challenge Malaysia's Cycle-for-Life, which unveiled its locally made tandem bicycle for physically challenged children.

"We took a year to design and build the bicycle using parts from discarded bicycles.

"We hope that the tandem bicycles will allow physically challenged children to join in the fun while further developing their motor skills," said the group's founder Mary Chen, adding that they planned to set up the nation's first bicycle library with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to get more people to take up cycling.

Several participants unfurled an anti-Goods and Services Tax banner but afterwards joined in the fun together with the others.

In a Facebook posting later, Najib described cycling as great exercise for him, according to Bernama.

"I had fun cycling at DBKL's Car-Free Morning to support the Government's policy to reduce 40 per cent of carbon emissions by 2020," the Prime Minister wrote while urging everyone to help promote a greener KL.