9 July 2023
This year’s haj operation, which involved the full quota of 31,600 Malaysian pilgrims for the first time in four years, went smoothly despite facing several challenges, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar.
He said among the challenges faced by the pilgrims this year were the scorching weather and the massive crowd of almost two million people performing the haj pilgrimage in the Holy Land.
“Alhamdulillah, the Malaysian pilgrims were recognised as having good discipline, attitude and knowledge.
“The Saudi government has once again named TH (Lembaga Tabung Haji) the recipient of the Labaittom Award for the Best Service category for a Haj Affairs Office, which I received from Saudi Arabia’s Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Tawfiq Fawzan Al-Rabiah,” he told reporters after welcoming the return of 350 Malaysian pilgrims who arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here yesterday.
The group of pilgrims arrived at 9.55 pm via Saudia Airlines flight SV5610 which departed from Jeddah at 8 am (Saudi Arabia time).
Meanwhile, Mohd Na’im said 70 patients were still being treated at the TH Treatment Centre in Makkah and the Saudi Hospital, while nine pilgrims have died in the Holy Land.
“The senior management of TH and I would like to offer our condolences to the families of the deceased,” he said.
He further said that TH would hold a closing meeting with various ministries and agencies in Saudi Arabia to re-evaluate the level of services and facilities provided during this year’s haj season.
“I was informed that TH will conduct a post-mortem to review and identify in detail, the operations and progress of the haj pilgrimage exercise from every aspect. It will give room for any improvement if needed after receiving feedback from all 18 sectors involved in the operation.
“The post-mortem is very important in efforts by TH to improve every weakness to enhance the services and improve on steps taken to ensure the welfare of haj pilgrims in the future,” he said.
He added that among the issues to be discussed between TH and the Saudi government is the issue of facilities in Mina, and feedback received from pilgrims will be brought to the table for discussion.
Meanwhile, TH chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said TH would continue to carry out improvements to services rendered to ensure excellence.
He said more than 25 initiatives were implemented this year, including a health education programme through the ‘Ziarah Rahmah’, TH Treatment Centre in Madinah and ATM services at the accommodation facilities of Malaysian pilgrims in the Holy Land.
A total of 98 flights, comprising Saudia and AMAL by Malaysia Airlines, will bring back all Malaysian pilgrims and haj personnel in stages.
The last flight is expected to leave on July 31 through the Prince Mohammad bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah. – Bernama
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