PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today handed over letters of offer to undertake the pilgrimage to 1,200 people comprising imams, village chiefs and chairmen of village development and security committees.
The letters of offer to undertake the pilgrimage sponsored by the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Foundation were presented at the Putra Mosque here.
Najib, when speaking at the event, said the pilgrimage programme that had entered its eighth year was successful because Malaysia had good relations with Saudi Arabia under King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
The programme initiated in 2011 had taken 5,711 religious officials and grassroots leaders on the pilgrimage with the assistance of the 1MDB Foundation and Pilgrims Fund Board (Tabung Haji).
“I can imagine the feelings of the pilgrims who have been sent on the pilgrimage. They are grateful because it may be almost impossible for them to go on the pilgrimage without such a programme,” said Najib.
The Prime Minister pointed out that many Muslims in the country had the opportunity to undertake the Haj due to the good relations between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia and that King Salman’s visit to Malaysia last year resulted in a higher quota of Haj pilgrims from Malaysia for this season’s pilgrimage.
He said that despite the fact that certain quarters alleged that due to the 1MDB issue the Haj performed through the sponsorship of the 1MDB Foundation would not be proper, there had been encouraging attention from the community.
“Don’t say that the money has disappeared … it’s a debt and it can be repaid. Do not slander. If something is not right, we can correct it,” said Najib.
A mufti stated that it was God who determined whether a Haj was proper and that people had no right to determine that, he said to applause from the audience.
Najib said that if the government administration was not on track under Islamic law, it was unlikely that King Salman would consider expanding the Haj quota for Malaysia and pick Malaysia as the first country of his visit to this region last year. – BERNAMA