MORE PIL­GRIMS AR­RIVE

Tabung Haji mak­tab op­er­a­tions pick­ing up pace

New Straits Times - - News -

AS the num­ber of Malaysian haj pil­grims ar­riv­ing here nears the half­way mark, op­er­a­tions at the mak­tab hous­ing the pil­grims are start­ing to pick up pace. Crowds at ho­tel lob­bies have in­creased, ser­vices of­fered are en­joy­ing a steady stream of cus­tomers and mak­tab man­agers have come up with user-friendly ways to make pil­grims’ wor­ship process as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble.

At the Land Pre­mium Ho­tel here, lo­cated 950m from the Grand Mosque and able to ac­com­mo­date 4,800 pil­grims, about 2,000 pil­grims had ar­rived, Mak­tab 82 man­ager Ashrof Sham­sud­din said.

“Ev­ery­thing is oper­at­ing well, in­clud­ing ser­vices of­fered by Tabung Haji (TH), the Muas­sasah and third par­ties.”

He said the pil­grims were in good health.

He said pil­grims at the ho­tel would be given an “in­fokit” upon ar­rival, which con­tained a map show­ing di­rec­tions from the ho­tel to the Grand Mosque.

“The kit also has a list of ser­vices pro­vided by the ho­tel, their work­ing hours and phone num­bers of key TH of­fi­cers at the mak­tab.”

He said pil­grims would also re­ceive a Muas­sasah Card, which in­di­cates their mak­tab num­ber and ac­com­mo­da­tion de­tails in Ara­bic.

He said they could show the card to Saudi au­thor­i­ties or lo­cals as a form of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“Th­ese will be avail­able on their beds the mo­ment they ar­rive, and they are re­minded to keep it with them at all times.”

Mohd Yu­sof Ah­mad, 47, from Shah Alam, Se­lan­gor, praised the Land Pre­mium Ho­tel for its wide range of fa­cil­i­ties, which in­cludes a clinic, fi­nan­cial cen­tre and cafe that of­fers Malaysian dishes.

“The in­fokit and Muas­sasah Card en­sures that we do not get lost when we go to the Grand Mosque or want to find our way back,” he said.

Zwar Al Bait Ho­tel (Mak­tab 80), which ac­com­mo­dates about 2,000 pil­grims, has a large lobby with WiFi con­nec­tiv­ity and booths of­fer­ing ser­vices. It is a pop­u­lar spot for ho­tel guests.

“This is the near­est mak­tab to the Grand Mosque, about 600m away, so we urge pil­grims to take ad­van­tage of this and join the con­gre­ga­tion in prayer at the mosque,” Mak­tab 80 man­ager Ah­mad Hapizudin Abas said.

Mak­tab 87 (Re­hab AlJanadriyah Ho­tel) man­ager Amat Kas­sim Pait said his ho­tel had re­ceived 1,200 pil­grims so far, and would house 2,500 more when six other flights ar­rive.

“The dis­tance from our build­ing to the Grand Mosque is about 950m. Pil­grims have sev­eral op­tions to get to the mosque. They can either walk, take a taxi or van.”

He said health wise, Malaysian pil­grims at Mak­tab 87 were well.

“Some have com­plained of cough­ing, but there are no se­ri­ous cases, so far.”

Ah­mad Hapizudin Abas

Amat Kas­sim Pait

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