PUTRAJAYA, March 10 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today flagged off Kelab Eksplorasi 7 Benua Malaysia (KE7B)’s 2017 North Pole Expedition at Bangunan Perdana Putra here.
Three KE7B members – KE7B president Muhammad Muqharabbin Mokhtarrudin, 35, Shahrom Abdullah, 38, and Muhammad Irwan Yusuf, 37, – will start their expedition on April 4 to bring honours to the country in the world arena.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Najib said he wanted Malaysians to challenge themselves by setting higher targets to reach their goals with their greater perseverance.
“We need to undertake special tasks to reach for loftier heights.
“We must hold to the words – no retreat, no surrender,” he said to fire up the spirit of the three extreme sports icons. Present was KE7B adviser Datuk Akmar Hisham Mohd Yusuf.
In this regard, the Prime Minister also gave encouragement to the expedition members and reminded Malaysians to pray and give moral support for its success.
“I know it is not easy to travel the Last Degree Ski over 111 kilometres in extreme cold weather with temperatures below -50C. As such I am amazed by the fighting spirit showed by you.
“Hopefully, the expedition will inspire other young people to take on other challenges,” he said.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to convey his best wishes to the group and prayed they would return safely with honours for the country in the eyes of the world.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Muqharabbin said the three of them were prepared to conquer the North Pole and they would be leaving for Oslo on April 4 and would be based in Longyearbyen, Svalbard Island for a week to acclimatise themselves as well as for final equipment preparation.
He said the three of them had undergone several series of physical training in Japan, the US. and around Malaysia and they were expected to start the expedition on April 13.
He said they would face challenges of their own capability and limitation when they ski while pulling a sledge which carries their equipment such as camping equipment, food supply and other equipment estimated to weigh about 70 kilogrammes during the entire journey.
“In Japan, we trained to acclimatise ourselves for the North Pole expedition as well as getting used to snowing conditions in January.
“We also had physical training involving pulling tyres as 50 kilogramme load,” he said, adding that the expedition would cover travelling 20 to 30 kilometres a day.
He explained that there are differences in the terrain between the North and South Poles, and it is a challenge for the team to come out victorious.
The North Pole Expedition is the sixth KE7B expedition after the KE7B 7Peaks 7 Continents Expedition in 2010, KE7B English Channel Swim in 2012, KE7B Felda Everest Expedition in 2013, KE7B Felda Greenland Expedition by ski in 2014 and the KE7B South Pole Expedition in 2015-2016.