From Hafizah Kamaruddin
MAKKAH, Oct 9 (Bernama) — The Haj ‘Masyair’ operations, which is the culmination of the haj rituals that include the ‘wukuf’ in Arafah, spending time in Muzdalifah and stoning in Mina this year has been described as the best.
Tabung Haji (TH) chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said that the haj this year was not only the ‘haji akbar’ which was fully blessed, but the operations had also gone well with the number of pilgrims falling sick or dying reduced compared to previous years.
In terms of the movements of haj pilgrims, they had been smooth with the time taken for travelling being shorter compared to previous years, he told the Malaysian media, in Makkah before returning to Malaysia.
Also present were the TH group managing director and chief executive officer Tan Sri Ismee Ismail and the Haj Delegation Head, Datuk Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.
“Credit should be given to the Saudi Arabian government and the South-east Asian Muassasah for the best traffic management,” he said.
A total of 22,311 Malaysian haj pilgrims out of the overall total of 22,320 Malaysian pilgrims were here for the wukuf last Friday.
Meanwhile, seven pilgrims had died in the Holy Land before the ‘wukuf’ while two pilgrims who were in a coma and being treated at the intensive care unit at the Saudi Arabian hospital could not be taken for the wukuf.
Abdul Azeez said in terms of fatalities, another haj pilgrim, Azmi Ahmad, 69, from Kedah died of heart disease in Mina on Monday.
“This raises the number of fatalities so far to 10, compared with 26 during the haj season last year,” he said.
Commenting on the return flight of haj pilgrims, Abdul Azeez said the first flight from Jeddah would be on Friday while the first flight from Madinah is Oct 23, and the last flight, KT64 will be on Nov 6.
Meanwhile, Ismee said TH had already started discussions with building owners on providing accommodation to the haj pilgrims for the next season.