GEORGE TOWN: After reaching the Esplanade, Penang, a father and son have 400 kms left to go before reaching Perlis on foot by Malaysia Day, while carrying the Malaysian and Perak state flags.
This is the fifth time R. Ragu, 43, has organised such an event and he plans to make it as a tradition every year in conjunction with Malaysia Day.
SMK St. Michael student R. Surya, 13, had joined his father in the walk since 2013, but only managed to go for 20 km. This year, he accompanied his father throughout the whole trip.
The father of five said the 28-day walk was inspired by his daughter who had first done the walk to express her patriotism.
He wished that Malaysia Day would be celebrated for a longer period rather than just a single day.
“If festivals such as Hari Raya Adilfitri, Deevapali and Christmas can be celebrated for a month, why can’t it be the same for Malaysia Day?” he told the reporters today.
He also welcomed the public, especially youngsters, who wished to join him for his future walks, but they would require physical and mental training.
Meanwhile, when asked about unique encounters throughout the journey, Ragu said that the whole trip was uneventful until they crossed Perak’s border.
He said that he and his son went through ups-and-downs, from drivers throwing rubbish at them from vehicles and been called “stupid and crazy” to being invited to strangers’ homes for meals and wedding ceremonies. But their most memorable experience was on Monday night at the Esplanade in Penang.
The father and son was accompanied by members of the Penang Mountain Bike Association (PMA) at the Esplanade, while buskers played the national anthem.
“It was a huge morale boost... Just a few days ago, my son was being yelled at by the drivers and he was (mentally) broken. I had to keep comforting him along the journey, but last night (at the Esplanade), he could not sleep even until 1am, telling me how Penang was the best while crying tears of joy,” he said.
The event on Monday night was broadcast live on social media on PMA’s Facebook page and had over 3,000 views within 12 hours. -- Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd