MECCA: It was indeed a proud moment for Malaysia when the country’s name was repeatedly mentioned with words of praise and appreciation at the Grand Haj Symposium here.
The event, which brought together leaders from various Islamic countries, also witnessed the recognition given to the Malaysian haj pilgrim fund board, Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH), for its success in developing the most proper and up-to-date management system for every haj season.
More proudly, the recognition, praise and appreciation came from Saudi Arabian Minister of Haj and Umrah Dr Taufiq Fawzan Al-Rabiah himself, both in his speech at the symposium and also in his exclusive statement to the Malaysian media here on Monday.
Among others, he said it was only right that other countries learn the strategies undertaken by Malaysia in preparing and educating its pilgrims prior to performing the fifth pillar of Islam.
“We appreciate what the Malaysian government has done in preparing, educating and training the haj pilgrims ... it makes haj pilgrimage successful and safe.
“We always look forward to any cooperation with the Government of Malaysia.
“We are honoured for all cooperation we have forged together and I plan to visit Malaysia very soon, InsyaAllah,” he said after meeting with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad here.
Also present were TH chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin and head of Malaysian haj delegation Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.
Taufiq Fawzan also said early preparations and training during a series of focused courses organised by TH had helped Malaysian pilgrims to perform the haj easily despite the many expected challenges while in ihram.
“The training should be followed by other countries.
“We appreciate the great impact the Malaysian pilgrims made. The training they received enabled them to know what to do and where to go. It’s indeed a good example,” he said in a Bernama report.
Meanwhile, International Islamic Fiqh Academy secretary-general Prof Datuk Dr Koutoub Moustapha Sano said Malaysia had great experience in handling pilgrims compared to any other country.
In this context, the academic from Guinea, who had lived in Kuala Lumpur for 16 years while serving as a lecturer at the Malaysian International Islamic University, also said it was high time for other countries to learn from Malaysia.
“Congrats Malaysia for this achievement. Many Muslim countries today are willing to learn from Tabung Haji’s experience. It’s the best in the world,” he said.