WAITING PERIOD FOR HAJ REDUCED BY 13 YEARS
Higher quota cuts waiting time to 89 years from 102 years previously
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