‘Annual renewals, medical check-ups better than restricting elderly drivers’

“It is ageism.”

That was the opinion of former world No 1 endurance rider, Datuk Awang Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani, when he read the suggestion by Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Datuk Azisman Alias, to limit the issuance of motor vehicle licences to senior citizens.

Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani subsequently said the statement was Azisman’s personal opinion.

“It does not matter if it was a personal opinion or an official statement. It is ageism. What is worse, is that a top-ranking officer, said it,” said Kamaruddin.

“I am 76, but on Sept 21, I drove from Nilai, in Negeri Sembilan, to Padang Besar, in Perlis, in one day. That’s about 600km,” said Kamaruddin, who then travelled on to Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

“I am heading to Pahang next, before driving to Kuala Lumpur. I make these trips regularly to share my knowledge with other horse lovers.

“I have not been in any accidents. I follow all the traffic rules and stop to rest if I feel tired. I have seen much younger people driving like maniacs on the road, swerving in and out of traffic.

“What is being done to prevent them from driving?”

He added that most senior citizens did not travel much, mainly to visit friends, or to do grocery shopping.

Kamaruddin agreed that allowing senior citizens to renew their licenses for a year or two years – instead of five – was a good idea.

“Perhaps they should also attach a medical report and go for eye check-us. In fact, all those who want to renew their licenses should do this too,” he said.

“I visit the doctor at least twice a year. That is why I am confident about driving long distances.

“It is not about one’s age. You must follow the traffic rules and use common sense. Take a breather every couple of hours. Stretch your legs, then continue driving.”

Kamaruddin said he does not earn much from his trips, as many cannot afford to pay him. But he continues to do so, to educate the breeders and to also teach young children on the finer points of endurance racing.

“It is a passion. I feel alive when I am around these people and their horses.

“If it were not for the various movement control orders (MCO), I would have travelled more.”

OVER TWO MILLION HAVE RECOVERED FROM COVID-19

On Monday, there was great news when 16,430 patients were declared cured of Covid-19, pushing recoveries beyond the two million mark, to 2,005,939.

Until yesterday, the total cured was 2,070,715 after 120,251were given the all-clear in the past seven days.

For the 15th consecutive day, recoveries also outnumbered new cases.

We had 86,352 new infections in the past week, pushing the total to 2,257,584. Unfortunately, that means Malaysia is ranked 20th in the world for the most number of reported cases.

We had 1,525 fatalities in the last week, the first time since Aug 21-27 (1,837) that we have had less than 2,000 deaths in a week. That took the total to 26,456 fatalities.

Worldwide, there are 235 million cases and 4.81 million deaths.

GOOGLE IS SCARY

In last week’s ‘The MCO Diaries’, the main topic was plogging, and there was a music video by a 107-year-old pianist, Collette Maze.

That night, I had pasta for dinner but did not post anything about it.

On Sunday, these three stories appeared in my recommended stories! 😱

BEYOND BOLOGNESE

Taking the cue from Google, here are six pasta recipes.

WORLD WALKING DAY

The Association For International Sport For All’s (Tafisa) 24-hour World Walking Day, starts tomorrow at 10am.

To make it extra special, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) is a patron of this year’s event. Do not forget to use #worldwalkingday if you are posting photos or videos on social media.

Some in a walking group I belong to, plan to celebrate the day by walking 10.3km. Others joked that 3.10km or 1.03km would be enough.

Separately, my group reached a milestone, as we have been walking for over 50 days.

The challenge was 3-5km per day, but many walked beyond that.

I completed 317.1km for the whole of September but did not lose weight, as I followed my motto: Exercise to eat!

WALKIN’ AFTER MIDNIGHT

There are many great songs about walking, but I opted for the legendary Patsy Cline.

As part of the walking challenge, there have been times when I walked after midnight.

Until next week, stay safe.