Nostalgic trip for kin of former British soldiers in Malaya

PADANG BESAR, Sept 12 — It was a nostalgic trip for some 300 foreigners, most of whom were grandchildren and great grandchildren of British soldiers who served in the then Malaya before World War I as they took a train ride from Hatyai, Thailand into the country.

Called the ‘Rumble Back to Mother’ programme, it was made possible with the co-operation of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) which provided a special diesel-powered train to “host” the passengers called the ‘Rumblers’ from over 30 countries, who are also members of the Hash House Harriers (HHH) club.

Organiser Mike Ricard who spoke to Bernama at the KTMB station here, said the programme was held in conjunction with the 80th anniversary of HHH, set up in Selayang Quarry, Selangor in 1938.

He added that the Rumblers tried to remember the many places and stories that had been passed on to them over the the years by their family elders as they took the train.

Speaking in fluent Malay, Ricard said a similar train journey was held 12 years ago from Singapore to Chiangmai, Thailand which attracted over 400 people.

He said that apart from serving in the army, there were other British people who worked with companies that provided services to the railways which was introduced as a mode of transport in the country in 1885.

Meanwhile, KTMB General Manager (Transformation Management Office), Afzar Zakariya said it provided nine special wagons for the programme, adding that the programme was unique in that it introduced the foreigners to the scenery and tourism attractions along the way. 

The Rumblers will spend the night in Ipoh and continue their journey to KL Sentral tomorrow. — Bernama

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