Saturday, March 15, 2014

Building bridges | Twice lucky


This is a nice picture of the second Penang Bridge taken by a friend of mine. At 24 km, it is the longest bridge in South East Asia. It is also known as the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, after our present king who actually become king twice! Born in 1927, His Majesty Sultan Abdul Halim was Malaysia's 5th king in the '70s and since 2011 he is the country's 14th king. Who says you can't get lucky twice? 

From the spot where the photo was taken, the newly officiated bridge looked almost like the first Penang Bridge which was opened to public in 1985. 

The construction site of the first Penang Bridge was my playground. My granny's house was just a stone's throw away. We saw almost every major bit of the construction progress of the 13 km bridge. I recalled the lovely balmy afternoons spent at the site where students from the nearby uni would sing, strum the guitar, recite poetry and village folks jogging and chatting away. I was still in my teens then. 

Almost 30 years later, we see another bridge linking the mainland of Peninsula Malaysia to a small town in southeast of Penang island. Alhamdulillah Penangites are lucky people - twice lucky.

Theoretically speaking, to close a gap, all we need is a bridge - a link through which both sides of the parties can commute, communicate and reciprocate. But in life, sometimes we need more than just one bridge to bridge a divide. Relationship between two countries, between two communities and between two people, is all about building bridges. If things can't seem to work this way, try that way. Having alternatives are always a plus. And being lucky twice is a boon.

2014 is Visit Malaysia Year. Come visit Penang. Its capital George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And did you know, Nicol Ann David, the world's no. 1 squash player is from Penang? She has won the British Open four times and the World Open seven times.

If we cannot yet be a world class achiever, try be someone with a world class heart :)

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