SEPANG – Starting next year, the Special Haj Programme of the Prime Minister’s Office and the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Foundation will sponsor mosque bilals, former imams and former chairmen of village development and security committees (JKKK) for the ‘umrah’ (minor Haj).
Programme chairman Datuk Jailani Ngah said the programme had been extended to bilals as almost all imams had been sponsored for the Haj since it was introduced in 2011.
“The former imams and former JKKK chairmen undertaking the umrah are expected to depart for the Holy Land in March 2015. They are from the group which did not go on the Haj due to time constraints while in service or due to the limited quota on the number of pilgrims.
“Therefore, we have decided to send them to ensure that they do not lose out the chance to set foot on the Holy Land,” he told reporters when welcoming back the first group of 255 people sponsored under the programme at the KL International Airport (KLIA) today.
A total of 1,000 people were sponsored under the programme for this Haj season. Five of them were Orang Asli ‘tok batin’ (community chiefs). – BERNAMA