WAIT­ING PE­RIOD FOR HAJ RE­DUCED BY 13 YEARS

Higher quota cuts wait­ing time to 89 years from 102 years pre­vi­ously

New Straits Times - - Front Page - MELISSA DAR­LYNE CHOW AND ESTHER LANDAU KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

THE wait­ing pe­riod for Malaysians to per­form the pil­grim­age has been re­duced by 13 years fol­low­ing the re­cently an­nounced in­crease in the pil­grim quota.

Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s Depart­ment Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Ba­harom said the wait­ing pe­riod was now 89 years com­pared with the pre­vi­ous 102.

He said the pe­riod was for the 2.5 mil­lion de­pos­i­tors reg­is­tered for the haj with Tabung Haji (TH).

“The re­duc­tion in the wait­ing pe­riod by 13 years is in­deed good news for all de­pos­i­tors who have reg­is­tered for the pil­grim­age un­der Tabung Haji.

“We are grate­ful for it,” said Jamil Khir at the De­wan Rakyat here yes­ter­day.

He was re­ply­ing to a sup­ple­men­tary ques­tion by Datuk Takiyud­din Has­san (Pas-Kota Baru) on the as­sur­ance given to de­pos­i­tors about the pil­grim­age based on TH’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance.

The in­creased quota from 27,900 to 30,200 was the out­come of dis­cus­sion be­tween Saudi Ara­bia King Sal­man Abdul Aziz Al-Saud with Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak dur­ing the for­mer’s state visit to Malaysia last month.

Jamil Khir said the div­i­dend paid out by TH last year was com­pet­i­tive com­pared with other Is­lamic bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions.

He said the fi­nan­cial per­for­mance re­mained pos­i­tive de­spite the coun­try fac­ing an un­cer­tain global eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion last year and this year.

“Last year, the Malaysian Syariah In­dex fell by six per cent while the over­all div­i­dend pay­ment from com­pa­nies listed on Bursa Malaysia was only three per cent.

“The re­turns from the bond mar­ket were also on a de­creas­ing trend fol­low­ing the drop in the overnight pol­icy rates by Bank Ne­gara Malaysia.”

Jamil Khir said it was not only con­trib­uted by TH but also by all fund man­agers and cor­po­ra­tions that were af­fected by the sit­u­a­tion.

On Feb 3, TH an­nounced a 4.25-per cent div­i­dend for the fi­nan­cial year end­ing 2016 and an ad­di­tional pil­grim­age div­i­dend of 1.5 per cent to de­pos­i­tors, who have yet to per­form their haj. The amount of div­i­dend given to de­pos­i­tors was RM2.88 bil­lion. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Arfa Yunus

Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Ba­harom

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