The PM praises the pilgrim fund’s commitment to continuously improve its services to make pilgrimage easier, more structured and accessible for local Muslims
by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / pic by BERNAMA
PRIME Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lauded the role of Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) in managing thousands of Malaysian pilgrims to perform the haj every year.
Dr Mahathir said the pilgrim fund’s commitment to continuously improve its services has made arrangements for pilgrimage easier, more structured and accessible for local Muslims.
“I hope TH will continue its efforts to improve the level of service, both in pilgrimage, and in savings and investment, so that the fund maintains an excellent level and continues to be an example to other Muslim countries around the world,” he told pilgrims at a send-off event in Sepang yesterday.
He said prior to the establishment of TH, pilgrims had to endure a long and difficult process which included travelling via sea route before arriving at the Holy Land several months later.
“I am sure it is not an easy task for TH as it requires planning on all aspects of preparation, from before their departure to the Holy Land until their safe return home.
“As a result of the commitment shown by TH, Malaysia is proud to receive praise and recognition from the government of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries,” he said.
Also present at the event were Minister in the PM’s Department for Religious Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Saudi Ambassador to Malaysia Mahmoud Hussien Saeed Qattan.
Dr Mahathir sent off 483 pilgrims, the last group, who departed for the Holy Land from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 6.20pm yesterday and are expected to arrive in Jeddah at 9.55pm (local time).
The PM said the pilgrimage was a religious act that requires physical and emotional strength as it involves the gathering of millions of Muslims from various countries in the Holy Land.
“I would like to urge all pilgrims to follow the health advice and practices recommended by TH and the Health Ministry to keep your health at a good level in order to perform the pilgrimage well.
“This act of worship also teaches pilgrims to be more patient, tolerant and caring regardless of skin colour, language, customs and culture,” he said, while calling all pilgrims to pray for Malaysia to be safe and prosperous.
Dr Mahathir also expressed his deepest gratitude to the Saudi Embassy to Malaysia for their cooperation, especially in relation to the welfare of Malaysian pilgrims.
This year’s haj season will see 30,200 Malaysian pilgrims performing the fifth Islamic pillar assisted by 640 TH workers.