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Malaysia fired up for torch relay in Kuala Lumpur
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08:55, April 21, 2008

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Singer Lim Yee Chung waited six years for the opportunity to produce his first solo album. But that, he said, is a thing of the past.

Now, he can't wait another second to carry the Olympic flame, which he would wield today.

"This will easily be my most memorable experience," the 29-year-old said.

When he left home to attend college in Kuala Lampur in his late teens, Lim had few ambitions beyond finishing school. However, the microbiology student won growing acclaim for the songs he wrote, and at age 21, the vocalist signed with a record label.

The company was small, but the young man was enthusiastic. Still, he had the patience to wait six years before releasing his first album.

"I believe in the future and always hold on to my dreams," the Chinese-Malaysian said.

The torch arrived in the Malaysian capital yesterday morning from Bangkok and will leave for Jakarta tonight.

"I consider the selection of Kuala Lumpur as one of the cities for the relay to be a reflection of the strong ties of friendship between Malaysia and China," former Malaysian ambassador to China for seven years Dato' Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan said.

Ahmad Khan is now president of the Malaysian-China Friendship Association and would also carry the torch during today's relay.

"As a person from an Asian country, I share the pride of the Chinese nation and people in their hosting of this Olympics, as this gathering reflects the very ethos of the Olympics - solidarity and friendship among athletes, governments, nations and peoples," Ahmad Khan added.

The Olympic torch relay in Bangkok - the 12th leg of its global tour - wrapped up early Saturday evening when the last torchbearer, Thai Olympic gold medalist Paveena Thongsuk, kindled the Olympic cauldron in Bangkok's Royal Plaza.

Paveena, who won the women's weightlifting 75kg gold in the 2004 Athens Olympics, at 6:10 pm arrived at the stage in front of the King Rama V Monument in the Royal Plaza, the finish line of Bangkok's relay. She was greeted by a cheering crowd of thousands, waving Chinese and Thai flags.

Police estimated some 40,000 spectators came out to watch the three-hour event.

President of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand Yuthasak Sasiprapha declared the Bangkok relay "a success".

Starting with deputy permanent secretary of the Bangkok metropolitan administration Anant Siripasraporn, 80 torchbearers, including government officials, athletes, company executives, artists, students, educators, social workers and Thai-Chinese community leaders, ran a 10.4-km-long route among the capital's most renowned landmarks and historical sites.

Xinhua contributed to the story

Source: China Daily



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