Commemorating Malaysia’s Independence Day and advocating for sustainability, the Kembara Kayuhan Merdeka for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) event took place on September 6, 2023, at UTMKL (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala Lumpur). Organized by the UTM Campus Sustainability (UTMCS) Office, this cycling event aimed to raise awareness about the SDGs while promoting eco-friendly modes of transportation.
Pedalling Towards Sustainable Goals
In a remarkable display of unity and environmental consciousness, a group of avid cyclists embarked on a journey from UTMKL to the scenic state of Kedah. The event was a tribute to Malaysia’s historical significance and a call to embrace sustainable living and transportation choices.
The Kembara Kayuhan Merdeka for SDGs event was meticulously designed to align with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which address pressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and peace and justice. It sought to promote these goals by engaging the local community in a cycling event that encouraged environmental awareness, physical fitness, and a sense of community.
Led by Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ts. Dr Abd Latif Saleh, the event saw participation from six riders from UTM JB and seven riders from UTMKL, supported by marshals using three cars and two motorcycle marshals.
The Event’s Objectives
The event had several key objectives, primarily focusing on raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It aimed to educate participants and the local community about these critical global objectives, emphasizing the importance of collective action. Additionally, the event sought to promote using bicycles as an eco-friendly mode of transportation, highlighting the significance of sustainable choices for reducing our carbon footprint. Encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle was another central theme, as cycling not only contributes to environmental preservation but also promotes physical fitness and an overall more active way of life. Ultimately, the event aimed to foster a sense of community and unity by bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, emphasizing that positive change can be achieved when communities come together to support sustainable initiatives.
A Journey through Sustainability
The cycling journey took participants through various states, including Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Penang, and Kedah. This expedition showcased diverse bicycle types, ranging from road bicycles to mountain bikes, touring bikes, and even fat bikes.
Experts in sustainability, climate change, and community development gave talks and participated in panel discussions throughout the journey. These sessions highlighted the significance of collective efforts in achieving the SDGs and adopting sustainable lifestyles.
Environmental responsibility was another core focus of the event. It promoted reusable water bottles, reduced single-use plastics, and strategically placed waste collection points to ensure responsible disposal.
Community Engagement and Impact
Local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community groups played a significant role in the event, actively participating and showcasing their sustainability and community development initiatives. The event had several positive impacts, starting with increased awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how individuals could contribute to their achievement. With over 25 participants, including riders, marshals, and seniors, the event encouraged active participation and promoted a healthier lifestyle. Emphasizing cycling as a mode of transportation not only reduced carbon emissions but also contributed to a cleaner environment. Additionally, the event fostered a strong sense of community and unity among participants and local organizations, while information booths and sustainability talks disseminated valuable insights into sustainable living and the SDGs. In essence, this event served as a catalyst for progress across multiple Sustainable Development Goals, aligning efforts towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.
Kembara Kayuhan Merdeka achieved several Sustainable Development Goals simultaneously:
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being: Cycling promotes physical fitness and well-being among participants while spreading awareness about healthcare challenges in less fortunate regions.
Goal 4: Quality Education: Educational pit stops and interactions with communities fostered a culture of learning and understanding, aligning with the goal of quality education.
Goal 13: Climate Action: By choosing cycling over carbon-intensive modes of transportation, participants actively contributed to reducing their carbon footprint.
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals: The expedition showcased the power of partnerships between academia, civil society, and local communities in advancing the SDGs.
The Kembara Kayuhan Merdeka from UTMKL to Yan Kedah exemplifies the spirit of unity, sustainability, and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. It underscores how grassroots efforts and individual actions can make a profound impact on our journey towards a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous future.
As Malaysia celebrates its independence, initiatives like these remind us that we are equally responsible for the independence and well-being of our planet and all its inhabitants. The Kembara Kayuhan Merdeka for SDGs event in Kuala Lumpur to Yan Kedah, Malaysia, was a successful initiative that effectively promoted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It serves as an inspiring example of how local communities can contribute to global sustainability efforts, encouraging collective action toward achieving the SDGs.
Participants involved in the Kembara Kayuhan Merdeka UTMKL-Yan 2023;
- Prof. Ts. Dr. Abd Latif bin Saleh
- Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Shamsul bin Sarip
- Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Sa’ardin bin Abdul Aziz
- Dr. Nik Shahman bin Nik Ahmad Ariff
- Yusran bin Isa
- Mohamad Shahril bin Mohamad Ali Hanafiah
- Mohamad Sukry bin Azman
- Amirul Haris bin Abd Rahman
- Aziz bin Yaacob
- Mohd Hamri bin Md Yusuf
- Sharul bin Ismail
- Mohd Safudin bin Nordin
- Mohd Shahrizal bin Jamaluddin
- Muhamad Aswat Maula Zulkefli
- Aminurraef bin Mohamad
- Amir Hamzah bin Mohd Ghazali
- Mohd Zuhaili bin Mohd Rodzi
- Mohd Zaidi bin Basir
- Mohd Syafiq bin Samsudin
- Mohd Aqhiya bin Mohd Noor
- Zainal Affandi bin Zainal Abidin
- Muhamad Rustam bin Mohd Nazer
- Faiz bin Mat Rashid