Thursday, July 24 2003

Biker Suhaimi to spread goodwill from Malaysia

By Shamini Darshni

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23: One manís passion for motorbikes, love for travelling and a heart for peace has prompted him to go on a journey to more than 20 countries to spread the Malaysian goodwill.
Suhaimi Joleman, 38, from Kedah, is expected to begin his journey, which will take 16 weeks, in mid-August.
"I am looking forward to the trip," said Suhaimi, who manages an outdoor adventure consultancy company.
He is making the trip as he loves exploring places and meeting people.
"This is a personal quest. Although many people have done it, to me it is a personal challenge," he said at Balai Berita today.
Suhaimi will fly from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul where he will begin the first leg of his journey, the "Into Europe" tour, on his BMW R1100 GS to London.
He will pass through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Eire, a distance covering approximately 10,300km.
He will spend two weeks travelling in Great Britain before entering Saudi Arabia to perform the umrah.
After two weeks, he will begin the second leg ó "Into Africa". Riding through France, Spain and Portugal, he will enter the African continent via Morocco. His trip will end in Cape Town. The second leg will cover 19,500km.
Suhaimi said on a good day he hoped to travel some 500km with two stops in between for meals and rest. He will be riding five or six days a week.
"But if I meet people, I will make more stops," he said.
As part of the Postcards for Peace project initiated by Suhaimi and his friends at Ex-Mara Junior Science Colleges' Students Alumni Malaysia, Suhaimi will distribute postcards written by Malaysians to those he meets.
Addressed to the citizens of the world, the message will be that of peace. Each postcard, designed with Malaysian motifs, will contain the sender's information and contact details.
Anyone interested in participating in the project can send a postcard with their name, address and a message to Suhaimi Joleman c/o Suhaimi Sulaiman Omnimedia, Unit 3A-07, Block A, Kelana Square, Jalan SS7/26, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya.
Suhaimi expects the entire trip to cost between RM150,000 and RM200,000 and said he would bear most of the cost himself.