TRIO SET TO CON­QUER NORTH POLE

PM hopes their achieve­ments will in­spire Malaysians, es­pe­cially youth

New Straits Times - - News - AZURA ABAS AND FAIRUZ MOHD SHA­HAR PU­TRA­JAYA news@nst.com.my

MALAYSIANS should set high goals and hold fast to the slo­gan “no re­treat and no sur­ren­der” when things get tough.

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak said this at the launch of the Malaysian 7 Con­ti­nents Ex­plo­ration Club (KE7B) North Pole Ex­pe­di­tion 2017 that would be un­der­taken by three lo­cal ex­plor­ers.

He said KE7B had founded 24 na­tional icons in ex­treme sports, and their achieve­ments should in­spire other Malaysians, es­pe­cially youth.

“We must challenge our­selves and not give up eas­ily when things get tough.

“No one is spared from chal­lenges, even I, as the prime min­is­ter, am not.

“Of course, the chal­lenges I face are dif­fer­ent than what the ex­plor­ers will be fac­ing.

“Nonethe­less, we should not re­treat or sur­ren­der when we come across ob­sta­cles, es­pe­cially while car­ry­ing out our du­ties for the coun­try. We must give our all.”

Present were ex­plor­ers Muham­mad Muqharab­bin Mokhtar­rudin, Muham­mad Ir­wan Yusuf Ab­dul­lah and Shahrom Ab­dul­lah.

Na­jib said to be part of the North Pole ex­pe­di­tion was not an easy task.

“One must have ex­tra­or­di­nary strength to com­plete the mis­sion.”

Na­jib said he could re­late to the ex­plor­ers based on his ski­ing ex­pe­ri­ences when he was young.

The ex­pe­di­tion group will leave for Oslo, Nor­way, on April 4 and be based in Longyear­byen, Sval­bard Is­land, for a week to make fi­nal prepa­ra­tions.

The ex­plor­ers are sched­uled to start their ex­pe­di­tion on April 13, where they will un­dergo a Ski Last De­gree ex­plo­ration — a 111km trail that will last about 11 days, start­ing from the Bar­neo sta­tion.

Sev­eral sup­port teams, led by KE7B ad­viser Datuk Ak­mar Hisham Mohd Yu­sof, will join the ex­pe­di­tion to help with prepa­ra­tions at Longyear­byen.

Ir­wan, 37, is an ex­treme sports ath­lete who com­pleted the Cross­ing Green­land Ex­pe­di­tion in 2014.

The Sarawak-born said he would use his ex­pe­ri­ence in Green­land to pre­pare him­self for the North Pole ex­pe­di­tion.

“My team and I had to un­dergo phys­i­cal train­ing ses­sions, which in­clude cy­cling, run­ning and swim­ming.

“I think the North Pole ex­pe­di­tion will be the most chal­leng­ing one as not only do we have to put up with the cold weather, we also have to deal with ice that moves con­stantly.

“So, we have to be very care­ful dur­ing our jour­ney.”

Muqharab­bin, 35, who is also KE7B pres­i­dent, climbed Mount Ever­est in 2004 and is the first Malaysian to reach the seven high­est peaks in seven con­ti­nents in 2010.

He said he loved adventures and to take on chal­lenges.

“We had to go through a lot of train­ing in Ja­pan, where we learned how to ski and sledge on ice.

“We hope to give our best in this mis­sion and made Malaysia proud.”

Shahrom, 37, is a na­tional duathlon and triathlon ath­lete, who com­pleted the South Pole ex­pe­di­tion in 2015.

He was the first Malaysian to ski from Mess­ner In­let to the zero-de­gree point in the South Pole.

PIC BY FARIZ ISWADI IS­MAIL

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak with KE7B pres­i­dent Muham­mad Muqharab­bin Mokhtar­rudin at the launch of the KE7B North Pole Ex­pe­di­tion 2017 in Pu­tra­jaya yes­ter­day.

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