It was 8 am on a Sunday morning. Abu Amir was supposed to be cycling with his friends in Putrajaya Wetlands now. Before he joins his friends cycling, he and his cycling buddies will have their Nasi Dagang Terengganu at Restoran Ore Kampung first at Ayer@8, Putrajaya. Now, he almost can smell the gravy of mackerel fish and hear the conversations and waves of laughter of his friends.
But not any more. His Sunday routine has been chopped off by Movement Control Order(MCO) 3.0. Putrajaya is now a protected city. No outsiders can enter and no insiders can go out. It is a “Covid-19 Prison”. It was designed as the City in The Garden. Now, MCO made it a “City in Prison”. Someone who could not resist his temptation to ride in Putrajaya tried to sneak in but he was caught and was slapped with a RM10,000 fine! That sum of money can buy him a new Brompton folding bicycle.
While listening to a podcast on his computer, his eyes stole a glance at his Brompton bicycle sitting pretty next to his workstation. He almost could hear the bicycle was talking to him,” Why are you still at home?”. He replied,” I could not go cycling in Putrajaya. MCO 3.0 does not allow me. I don’t want to get caught crossing the border just to cycle”. The bicycle lamented,” I am sick and tired sitting in this damp corner for more than a fortnight. I need to unfold and see the sunlight and breath fresh air”.
Abu Amir decided not to continue the conversation with his Brompton bicycle. So, he went upstairs to his room and got dressed into a tee-shirt and a pair of three-quarter pants. Walking downstairs, he picked up his woollen British flat cap and his bicycle. He started cycling to Taman Tasik Cempaka, Bandar Baru Bangi located about one kilometre from his house.
On arrival at the gate of Taman Tasik Cempaka, he saw a lady running towards him. He parked his bicycle and walked briskly to meet the lady. Her face was pale with fear! Abu amir stopped and asked, “ Anyone chasing you? Are okay?”. She did not reply to his questions but instead told him not to come into the garden. Two of her walking buddies were caught by the police for breaking the MCO rules not to walk in the public garden. Immediately he took her warning and jumped on the saddle and pedalled away without looking back. He pedalled as fast as he could and found himself in front of Bangi District Library with heavy breathing. He had to stop to get more air for his ageing lungs.
Checking at his watch, his heart rate is 130, the distance cycled on 2km and the time is 8:15 am. He wanted to ride 20 km and started to think where to go and which route to take. Then he remembered that his roti canai at Pasar awam of section 1, Bandar Baru Bangi.
It took him 15 minutes to cycle to Pasar Awam Section 1 for his breakfast. On arrival, he looked around for an empty table and parked his bicycle next to him. Now he felt hungry and thirsty after an uphill of 2 km. He joined the queue at the Roti Canai stall and ordered his favourite roti sardin and teh tarik halia. While waiting for his meal to be ready, he kept looking at his table to ensure that his bicycle is still there and not stolen. That bicycle is worth a few thousand if taken away. Brompton is in great demand. The waiting time to buy a new Brompton is about four months. As soon as he got his meal, he paid for it and walked slowly to his table. As he was enjoying his breakfast, a man that looks familiar walked to his table. He stopped and asked,” Are you, Abu Amir?”. He replied yes and asked back,” Who are you?”. The man replied that his name is Sivam-his schoolmate way back in the ’70s. They hugged each other for they have not met more than thirty years when everyone was busy building their own careers or businesses.
While having breakfast, both started to tell their own success and failure stories of their lives. Sivam has a successful Hot Currys restaurant business in London, Loughborough and Sheffield. To date, he has built up seventeen restaurants and most of them are doing roaring business. The group turnover is about £20 million and the company is cash-rich. Sivam is getting old and he wanted to cash out. He asked Abu Amir to help him either get a buyer or do a reverse take-over of the small and ailing company listed on KLSE. That request puts a smile on Abu amir’s face. He knows the game plan and how to make a tidy sum for himself and at the same time make a few millions for his friend. It reminds him of the back door listing he was involved two decades ago…
To be continued.