Malaysia-China 50th anniversary: Retirees cycle over 15,000km to Beijing

By Kenny Teng

BANGKOK, July 5 (Bernama) — Two Malaysian retirees, Teng Choon Kwang, 73, from Shah Alam, and his cycling partner, Tiong Ting Ming, 72, from Manjung, Perak, have embarked on a journey of over 15,000 kilometres from Bentong, Pahang, to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

They are commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China, established on May 31, 1974.

Reflecting on the milestone, Teng noted that while the 50th anniversary marks a significant achievement in Malaysia-China relations, the journey has not always been smooth, with notable ups and downs leading up to this peak in bilateral relations this year.

“There are many ways to commemorate these historic days such as the Malaysian Chinese communities holding dinners inviting Chinese officials, and some organise seminars or talks, but we chose to cycle because it symbolises the ups and downs of the (Malaysia-China) diplomatic ties.

“It will be the toughest and will resemble how the two countries overcame the difficulties they faced before reaching the remarkable milestone of 50 years,” he told Bernama when contacted on Friday.

He said their target is to arrive in Beijing on Sept 30, the eve of China celebrating its 75th National Day on Oct 1.

“Tentatively, we will meet with the Malaysian Embassy officials in China before they accompany us to Tiananmen Square,” he said.

Teng said he and Tiong are cycling enthusiasts who often travel around and cross borders on bicycles.

“We have been regular cyclists for many years, and en route to Beijing, we will enjoy the beauty of nature and spread the beautiful friendship between Malaysia and China, symbolising endless life,” he said.

On June 30, Teng and Tiong’s cycling journey was flagged off by Investment, Trade, and Industry Deputy Minister Liew Chin Tong.

Also present were the President of the Malaysia-China Friendship Association, Datuk Abdul Majid Khan, and veteran politician Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang.

Earlier, Teng shared in WhatsApp updates of their first stop was in Kuala Lipis, where they spent a night on June 30 before cycling to Gua Musang on July 1. On July 2, they stopped at Jeli.

Teng shared that he and Tiong enjoyed having durian in Jeli before resuming their journey on July 3 to Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu.

On July 4, they crossed the border from Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan to Narathiwat, a southern province in Thailand, but a strong thunderstorm and heavy rain slowed down their journey, forcing them to spend the night near a petrol station.