22/05/2024 11:55 AM

SEPANG, May 22 (Bernama) -- The implementation of the Makkah Route initiative for the sixth time demonstrates the international recognition and confidence of Saudi Arabia in the management efficiency of the hajj operations managed by the Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH).

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar said the high level of discipline among the Malaysian pilgrims was also a contributing factor to the country's selection for the implementation of the Makkah Route, an initiative which has greatly helped simplify the affairs of the pilgrims.

He said that after an eight-hour flight, Malaysian pilgrims did not have to wait long upon arrival as the inspection process by the Saudi Arabian Immigration and Customs Department had been completed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“The Malaysian government deeply appreciates the trust given by the Saudi Arabian government for once again being selected for this year's hajj season to participate in the Makkah Route programme alongside six other countries namely Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast and Turkiye.

“This is a proud achievement,” he told the media at the Makkah Route for the Hajj Season 1445H/2024M launch ceremony last night.

Also present were the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Malaysia, Mesaad Ibrahim Al Sulaim, TH Group managing director and chief executive officer Syed Hamadah Syed Othman and TH senior officials.

Meanwhile, Mesaad expressed hope that the Makkah Route programme could continue in the coming years as a sign of the close relationship between Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Syed Hamadah said that the Makkah Route has put TH hajj management at an excellent level because it has facilitated the affairs of the pilgrims which can be seen through the increase in the customer satisfaction index.

“TH is very grateful to the Saudi Arabian government for welcoming efforts to strengthen this bilateral relationship and hope that it can continue in the future for the well-being of the Dhuyufurrahmans (guests of Allah),” he said.

Malaysia is the first country in the world to be trusted by the Saudi Arabian government to implement the Makkah Route through its pilot programme in 2017.

The programme continued in 2018, 2019, 2022 and 2023.

Meanwhile, 353 prospective pilgrims from the 38th group departed for the Holy Land on Saudia Airlines flight SV 5013 at 2.15 this morning.

Thus far, 11,000 Malaysian pilgrims have arrived in the Holy Land through the Makkah Route initiative.

There are 100 special charter flights, operated by Malaysia Airlines and Saudia Airlines, for this year’s hajj season which started last May 9 and the last flight is scheduled for June 9.




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