Safety of haj pilgrims is top priority of govt, Tabung Haji, says Na'im

KUALA LUMPUR: The safety of haj pilgrims remains a priority for the government and Tabung Haji, says Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) said that the government and Tabung Haji are closely cooperating with the Saudi Arabian government, particularly the Ministry of Haj and Umrah, to ensure the smooth travel of haj pilgrims from Malaysia.

"The Ministry of Haj and Umrah has assured me that they are prepared with alternatives to ensure that, in the event of any mishap, appropriate measures will be taken.

"What matters most for pilgrims whose intention is to perform the haj, is that we pray together for Allah to facilitate and grant us safety," he said after officiating the federal territory-level Premier Haj Course on Saturday (April 20).

He added that the ministry also closely collaborates with the Foreign Ministry to obtain the latest information on the situation of the conflict between Iran and Israel.

"Information received so far indicates that the situation is under control. I assure you here that the welfare and safety of the haj pilgrims are our top priority, whether at the level of the Saudi Arabian government, the Malaysian government or Tabung Haji.

"Tabung Haji and the government are closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East, and we will keep the pilgrims informed of developments from time to time," he said.

Meanwhile, Na'im said that nearly 600 Tabung Haji officers would be deployed to Saudi Arabia to facilitate the affairs of the haj pilgrims.

He added that all these officers had undergone training as preparation before departing for the holy land.

"Tabung Haji officers are committed to ensuring that this year's haj pilgrims have a smooth journey in all aspects, including worship, health and welfare," he said.

Earlier in his speech, Na'im reminded prospective haj pilgrims to prepare themselves mentally, physically and to have a clear understanding of the rituals of haj they are about to perform.

He also advised them to take care of their health by engaging in light exercise and consuming healthy food to stay fit throughout their time in the holy land.

"At the same time, I strongly urge Malaysian haj pilgrims to maintain discipline and adhere to the regulations issued by the Saudi Arabian government and Tabung Haji.

"I hope that all of you will maintain self-discipline while in the holy land and uphold the good name of our country," he said.

This Premier Haj Course is the final preparatory course for prospective haj pilgrims before their departure to the holy land scheduled from April 20 to May 5 at 17 selected locations nationwide, gathering a total of 31,600 pilgrims.

The course focuses more on practical training for haj rituals such as Tawaf, Sa'i, Wuquf and stoning the jamarat (pillars), providing a glimpse of the holy land. - Bernama

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