TheStar - SOME 70 participants tore through Penang’s lush green hills, jungles, orchards and farmland — all in the name of charity.
Members of the Hashwalk Kuala Lumpur, Damansara Hash House Harriers (HHH) and The Association of Backpackers Malaysia gathered at Taman Rimba in Teluk Bahang early on Friday for the two-day ‘End of the World to the Beginning of the World’ trek.
The event was to raise funds for the Penang Adventist Hospital’s (PAH) Gift Of Life project which will benefit children in need of corrective heart surgery.
“We are doing this for charity. Please contribute generously to the fund because this is truly a good cause,” said retired Royal Malaysian Airforce Brigadier General Datuk Soon Lian Cheng.
The sprightly 69-year-old, who was the coordinator of the event, said it took a few years to map out the 50km trail.
“We are not from Penang so we had to come here whenever we were free to map out the trail, which is a large area comprising virgin jungles,” he said.
The trekkers started from the northwestern corner of the island and made their way to Penang Hill. From there, they moved to the Air Itam dam where they spent the night. On day two, they trekked to Gertak Sanggul.
They took 18 hours of trekking to complete the trail which covered six main peaks including Bukit Laksamana, Bukit Western, and Bukit Genting.
The oldest participant, Foong Loke Mun, 75, advised senior citizens to exercise regularly to keep fit.
“I don’t suffer from any major ailments because I keep myself active,” he said.
Another participant, B.C. Lim, said the trek was very well-planned as it covered a wide area.
“The Penang HHH (Chapter 4) will be organising the Malaysian National Hash or Nash Hash in 2012 and that will be another exciting event to look out for,” he said.
Tanjung Bunga assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu, who flagged off the event, urged the state to promote trekking as an eco-tourism attraction.
“The hills in Penang were a base for communists in the 1940s. I am sure many will find it interesting to explore these places,” he said.
Those who wish to donate to the Gift Of Life project can call 04-2227603/ 7606/ 7644 for details.
PAH development manager Nancy Ong said since its inception, the fund had disbursed over RM8mil to help almost 600 patients.