MECCA, June 22 — The issue of cramped tents in Mina is beyond the control of the Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH), says the Head of the Malaysian Haj Delegation for 1445H/2024, Datuk Seri Syed Salleh Syed Abdul Rahman.

Syed Salleh explained that each country was allocated a specific land area based on the quota of Haj pilgrims granted by the Saudi Arabian government.

“As is well known, the boundaries in Mina are fixed and limited. Whether it accommodates one million, five million, or ten million pilgrims, the area of Mina remains the same.

“The size of the camping area in Mina is determined based on the distribution by the Ministry of Haj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia, not by Tabung Haji. Malaysia’s quota is 31,600 pilgrims, and it is allocated a specific area accordingly,” he said at an appreciation ceremony for 315 ‘Sahabat Maktab’ at the TH headquarters here, today.

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Syed Salleh mentioned that to enhance the comfort of the pilgrims, TH continuously makes improvements, such as adding air conditioners, providing thicker carpets, and installing ceramic tiles in the tent areas.

Addressing complaints about the limited number of toilets, he said that TH had requested to increase these facilities, however, the Saudi government informed that adding more toilets would reduce the tent space.

Therefore, he said TH would propose increasing the number of multi-storey toilets and the construction of multi-storey tents.

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At the ceremony, Syed Saleh expressed his appreciation for the 315 ‘Sahabat Maktab’ (Maktab Friends) representing nine ‘maktab’ (colleges) in three categories: Sahabat Hujjaj, Sahabat Ibadat, and Sahabat Medik, who volunteered their services without any compensation.

“We are very grateful to have, in addition to our 670 Haj staff, the valuable contribution of Sahabat Maktab,” he said.

He also praised the dedication and patience shown by Sahabat Maktab in assisting the pilgrims, and sacrificing their time for personal worship and prayer during the Wukuf in Arafah.

At the event, Syed Saleh also launched the Sahabat Maktab logo, first introduced in 2006. — Bernama