Indonesian nationals Muchlis Abdullah (R), 47, with his wife Julianti Husin (R2), 47, and their children Mirza Hakim Muchlis, 15, Ahmad Zaki Hafiz, 11 and Olivia Yumna, 6, ride bicycles along a paddy field in Kampung Bukit Merah, Permatang Pauh, on Aug 14, 2018 on their Ziarah Qudsiyah mission to fulfill their umrah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. — Sunpix by Masry Che Ani
BUTTERWORTH: A family of five from Yogyakarta is cycling to Mecca to perform the hajj.
They have been on the road for one and a half months since leaving their home.
Muchlis Abdullah, 47, his wife, Julianti Husin, 47, and their children, Mirza Hakim Muchlis, 15, Ahmad Zaki Hafiz, 11, and Olivia Yumna, six, are on a seven-month-long trip that will take them through 12 countries.
Reaching Penang yesterday after cycling 3,000km, the family still has 10,000km to go before they reach their destination.
The idea of cycling to perform their umrah came after Muchlis had a dream of God.
In Penang he is assisted by his friend Mohd Damahuri Mutalib, 65, who guided them through the northern region.
Damahuri said he would accompany them on a 60km cycling trip to Gurun, Kedah before they continue their journey on a train from Padang Besar to Haadyai in southern Thailand.
From there, they will probably enter Myanmar before proceeding to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Iran, Damahuri said.
“They will take a flight if the need arises,” he added.
Butterworth, within the North Seberang Perai District, is the largest town in Seberang Perai, the mainland half of the Malaysian state of Penang. It lies approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) east of George Town, the capital city of Penang, across the Penang Strait. As of 2010, Butterworth contained a total of 71,643 residents.
Butterworth was named after a Governor of the Straits Settlements in the mid-19th century. The town came into being as a transportation hub, due to its proximity to George Town. While the British East India Company initially obtained Seberang Perai (then named Province Wellesley) for agricultural purposes, Butterworth has also witnessed massive industrialisation during the latter half of the 20th century. In 1974, the Port of Penang was relocated into the town.
Currently, Rapid Ferry is the main transportation link between Butterworth and George Town. The Port of Penang handled 1.52 million TEUs of cargo as of 2017, making it one of the busiest seaports in Malaysia. In addition, the Butterworth railway station, situated adjacent to the town’s ferry terminal, is a major Malayan Railway station, with train services operated by both the Malayan Railway and the State Railway of Thailand.
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