Service for haj pilgrims gets a boost

Well done: Dr Afif (in batik shirt) presenting the cheque to (from left) Sadarudin, St John officer Khairul Nizam Abd Hamid, assistant service officer Hilmi Omar and special officer Zuraidah Hussin in Komtar.

ST John Ambulance Penang got a shot in the arm for the ambulance and emergency serviceit has been providing for hajpilgrims.

The non-government organisation received RM3,000 from the Penang government.

“When we heard of St John’s contributions to the safety and comfort of the pilgrims, the state government wanted to contribute in some way,” said state Agriculture, Agro-based Industries, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin.

He said this at a ceremony to hand over the money to St John representatives in Komtar recently.

He said the contribution was just a small gesture to a great effort by the organisation.

St John area operations superintendent Sadarudin Mohd Yusof said the service for the haj pilgrims would be provided at the Penang International Airport from Aug 25 until the first week of September when they leave for their pilgrimage and in October when they return.

He said St John had been providing the ambulance and emergency service for the pilgrims for more than 20 years, from the time when they used to go for the haj by ship from Penang.

“We have an ambulance on standby in case of emergencies as some of the pilgrims are elderly,” Sadarudin said, adding that St John also provided wheelchair service to pilgrims who are disabled from the airport entrance until they board the plane.

He said some 1,000 pilgrims were scheduled to leave from Penang to Mecca in five flights in the coming haj season.

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