Malaysian cyclists sell postcards of epic journey to raise funds for Haj

BANGKOK: Four determined Malaysian cyclists are selling postcards to fund their 12,000km trip.

The seven-month, journey from Kuala Lumpur to Makkah requires them to raise RM40,000 per person to fulfill their lifelong dream of performing the Haj.

As such, the 'Kembara Berbasikal Ke Mekah 2024" team – comprising 73-year-old Che Saad Noordin, married couple Ahmad Mohd Isa, 35, and Noradilah Mohd Sapie, 36, and Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) staff Abdul Halim Talha, 56 – came up with the idea of selling postcards of the seven countries of their travel to well-wishers and supporters to raise the much-needed fund.

Che Saad, who is also the head of the cycling mission, said the cyclists are currently being funded entirely through personal savings, with each rider estimated to have spent around RM15,000."We are raising funds to cover the cost of performing the Haj.

We welcome contributions from the government and NGOs to help ease the cost of the Haj borne by each cyclist," said the former part-time journalist of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) when met here.

Ahmad said fund will help the team cover some of the estimated costs for performing the Haj.

"To date, we have raised about RM20,000 through our postcard collection from Thailand," he said.

The public can purchase a postcard, 'Poskad Kayuhan Haji 2024,' at and contribute to helping fulfill their dream of performing Haj.

The four cyclists set off on a 12,000-kilometre journey to Makkah from Kuala Lumpur on Nov 2 to travel through Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before they are expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia for the Haj season in mid-May 2024.

They arrived in Bangkok on Jan 2, and flew to Mumbai, India, on Jan 8 due to the closure of Myanmar's borders to foreigners.

Ahmad said the main obstacles on their upcoming journey would include cycling through the scorching desert, and enduring the extreme cold temperatures (down to 5 degrees Celsius), while Noradilah said the journey this time is shorter compared to the one she and Ahmad undertook in 2016.

In 2016, the couple crossed 14 countries – Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran, UAE, and Saudi Arabia – in 15 months to reach Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. — BERNAMA

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