Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has spent his final day in office ahead of a forthcoming general election leading thousands of his fellow citizens on a 12-kilometre bike ride, the 1Malaysia Patriotic Cycle, in Putrajaya, 25 kilometres south of capital city Kuala Lumpur.
Najib, who was joined by his wife and members of his cabinet in the 45-minute ride, which took in Putrajaya boulevard and Putrajaya lake and was expected to attract 10,000 cyclists, used the occasion to reflect on his latest four-year term in a speech to riders after the event, reports The Star.
"I am thankful, honoured and humbled to have bore this responsibility, to offer my service according to the best of my ability,” he said. "Together with the Cabinet and the civil servant teams, we are determined to take Malaysia to a greater height.
"If we are given a mandate for another five years, we will carry on this journey to the very end in Putrajaya," he added.
The city holds mass cycle events on the third Sunday of each month, and while attending one of those last month the prime minister told 15,000 attendees that exercise such as cycling had an important role to play in countering unwanted effects of the country’s rapid economic progress such as obesity and diabetes.
Notwithstanding that, no bike ride would be complete without cake, and after today’s event, which took place on the fourth anniversary of his current term beginning, Najib was presented with one to mark the occasion, as well as a framed photograph of the cyclists outside his official residence.
Whether voters will ask him to saddle up for another term or get on his bike remains to be seen.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.