Cycling for a good cause
If you happen to see a man peddling a trishaw on your way anywhere from Kuching to Lawas from October 27th till November 13th, do stop and say hi.
While a bicycle or even a motorcycle seems to be a more reasonable choice for the journey, Penangite Pastor Cheah Chee Moon said that he opted for the trishaw to encourage members of the public to exercise in order to lead a healthy life.
“The reason why I use ‘beca’ (trishaw) is to encourage the public to exercise. A lot of people said they want to cycle but the problem is that they come out with a lot of excuses saying that their bicycle is heavy and so on,” he said.
“So instead, I use something that is heavier to cycle long distance. With that, no one can give any excuse not to go cycling or exercise and anybody can cycle,” said Pastor Cheah, explaining that he encouraged people to exercise to stay healthy.
“The second reason is that I want people to be positive. A lot of people they always say ‘Cannot, cannot’, but when I cycle want to prove that it can actually be done. It all depends on our mindset.”
On October 1st, Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM), also known as Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) along with the collaboration of Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) organized the launching of Trans Sarawak Cycling For Youth 2015 at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre, Kuching.
Beginning on October 27th until November 13th, Pastor Cheah will began his charity ride from Kuching to Lawas accompanied by a team to assist him during the journey in the hopes of raise funding for BEM/SIB youths in Sarawak.
Pastor Cheah agreed to help raise funds for BEM/SIB Sarawak to help in its efforts to help the youth by creating more empowerment activities and projects.
According to President of BEM/SIB Sarawak Reverend Justin Wan, the main purpose of the cycling programme besides raising funds for youth-centred activities was to encourage people to be more involved in sports, promote unity among the youths, tourism, as well as encourage congregation among the people through holding cycling prayer sessions.
Pastor Cheah has been an avid cycler for the last 15 years. He cycles almost everyday where in a month, he would cycle about 1500 km. In the past, Pastor Cheah has also been doing a lot of charity rides for different causes.
“Every year, I will at least do it once. In the past, I would normally cycle for individuals. If I find out there’s a patient who needs operation fees, or a child who suffers from a disease but does not have money for treatment, I would cycle to raise funds for them,” he said, adding that he has also done charity rides for the environment as well as animals.
In 2008, Pastor Cheah raised funds towards the schooling expenditure of 56 children in his centre called Agape Home in Chiang Rai, Thailand. He raised money by travelling from Thailand to Singapore.
Aside from that in 2014 in collaboration with KT Cyclone Sdn Bhd and Pure Lotus Hospice of Compassion, he also traveled around Peninsular Malaysia to raise funds during the ‘Trishaw Cycling for Cancer’ campaign.
“How do I raise funds? I approach a company, then I would ask the company or even friends to sponsor for the mileage,” he said, adding that everyone can help regardless of the amount that they contribute.
“Even school children can contribute if they are interested,” he said.
For this charity ride, Pastor Cheah will be cycling about 3,200 km where he hopes to cover 100 km per day. He estimates that he will be spending about eight to nine hours cycling every day.
When asked if he ever encountered any problems while on the road, Pastor Cheah said that he sometimes encountered problem with the drivers.
“The problem I face is the drivers on the road, where some drivers tend to drive really fast on the road or not concentrate while driving. Other than that is okay. A majority of the time, Malaysians are very friendly and very welcoming,” he said.
Not letting fear get in the way, Pastor Cheah said that there was nothing in the world that would stop us if we set our mind to it.
“We have to find a way to remove the word fear from us so that we can have a healthy life. There is nothing to be fearful of if there is nothing wrong about what we do,” said Pastor Cheah.
Aside from raising funds for the youth, Pastor Cheah also hopes to spark up something among the people so they would pick up cycling and exercise.
Pastor Cheah has a special message for the youth.
“Respect your parents and listen to what they have to say, obey them. Study hard, the world is changing very quickly and everyone is competing with each other and I encourage the youths to do their best so that they can have a better future,” advised Pastor Cheah.
Also present during the officiating ceremony was Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang.