Malaysiakini Letter

Create records that are beneficial

YS Chan  |  Published:  |  Modified:

In the past, I had often criticised silly records just to enter the record books. For example, I wrote ‘Promote tourism meaningfully’ in May 2014 after 600 students in Kuala Terengganu created a Visit Malaysia Year 2014 logo measuring 30m by 15m using 28,000 coconut shells for listing in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBOR).

In March last year, I wrote ‘A nation of superficial education and society’ after 24 students used 3,900 open umbrellas to form a heart symbol on the field of a local public university in Penang and earned a spot in MBOR.

Last November in Kuching, 15 cooks spent about 18 hours to prepare Sarawak laksa using 100kg of laksa paste, 225kg of rice noodles, 90kg of prawns, 1,008 eggs, 90kg of bean sprouts, and 80kg of chicken.

It was enough to fill 1,500 bowls but all had to be thrown away as it was unhealthy for human consumption. The gimmick was only to make it into MBOR but the contents of the custom-made giant bowl measuring 1.3m deep and 3.1m wide had been exposed and spoiled.

On March 11, Deputy Tourism Minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin launched the Women Cycling Convoy 2017 as part of International Women's Day activities, with 11,412 cyclists taking part, beating the old record of 3,000.

There were many happy faces when the certificate of recognition was presented, but I was more impressed that the cyclists were wearing bike helmets.

If they own these bicycles and cycling gear, they should ride regularly around their neighbourhood for exercise.

If they are afraid of the sun or could only find time before dawn or after dusk, the bicycles should be fitted with bicycle lamps at the front and rear, if not at least a rear reflector.

Lamps with head or waist band costing a few ringgit with bright light-emitting diodes can easily be worn. Fully-inflated tyres would make cycling effortless and enjoyable.

It is better to ride alone as most people let their guard down when walking or riding in a group, falsely believing in safety in numbers.

Next month, Lebuhraya Kajang Seremban (Lekas) will again be closed to traffic at night, allowing 4,000 cyclists to compete in five categories, ranging from 7km to 105km.

Registrations for this year is already closed but it would be great to see at least 10 percent of the ladies that took part in Women Cycling Convoy 2017 enter next year’s Lekas event, and the best time to start preparing for it is now.

At the Putrajaya International Food and Cultural Exchange Festival held at Dataran Putrajaya from March 24 to 26, the participation of 4,235 local and international chefs allegedly broke the world record for the world’s largest gathering of chefs.

The chefs were from Malaysia, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas taking part in a culinary art competition, and the festival also featured Malaysian traditional music, dance and pop culture.

‘Malaysia the most obese country in Asia’

Such festivals are bound to attract food lovers but unfortunately, the majority of them are overweight.A study published in the renowned British medical journal, The Lancet, showed that Malaysia is the most obese country in Asia.

Just over a year ago, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam disclosed that nearly half of Malaysia’s population are overweight or obese based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey of 2015.

The same survey found 3.5 million Malaysians had diabetes and 48 percent of adults have high cholesterol. As such, it is the moral duty for organisers of food festivals to promote healthy food, more so when few Malaysians can name or prepare healthy dishes.

Gorging on food sold locally is sure to see our government clinics and hospitals swamped with patients, sending many of them to their early grave.

Finally, if we wish to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, which has earned the highest credibility by adhering to strictest rules and conditions for more than 62 years, we should discard the Malaysian practice of displaying gigantic mock cheques or ‘forged’ certificates.

Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor shared an image of a certificate bearing the Guinness World Record (GWR) logo via his Twitter account. But an official from GWR confirmed that the certificate was not issued by them, and social media went into overdrive.

It was also embarrassing that certificate was riddled with grammatical errors and not spotted by so many people involved in organising the event meant to break a world record and publicised globally.

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