Sunday, August 18

Middle-East turmoil: Govt ensures safety of Malaysian haj pilgrims

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Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof – Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government will work with the Saudi Arabian government to ensure the safety of Malaysian haj pilgrims amidst tensions in the Middle East between Iran and America.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof said Tabung Haji (TH) was always working with the Saudi Arabian security forces on this.

“This is because when the pilgrims are in Mekah, they are under the Saudi Arabian security bodies and of course, they have a high sense of obligation and responsibility to ensure the safety of pilgrims from all over the world, including Malaysia,” he said at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Mujahid was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Pakatan Harapan (PH)-Port Dickson) who wanted to know what assurance the government had for the safety of Malaysian pilgrims following developments in the region.

American is reported to have mobilised its F-22 stealth fighters to the Middle East following Iran’s shooting of its drone. Iran has maintained that the drone was in its airspace while Washington insists it was in international airspace.

Malaysian pilgrims are scheduled to begin leaving for their haj from July 4 until Aug 4 on 62 chartered flights.

Replying to a supplementary question from Tan Sri Annuar Musa (Barisan Nasional -Ketereh) on TH, Mujahid said the PH government had never manipulated or practised creative accounting on TH.

“I want to say here that it was not us (PH) which manipulated and performed creative accounting but it was them (the opposition), we had to repair it all,” he said.

He added that after the structuring and recovery process carried out on TH at the end of December 2018, its financial situation improved in the first quarter of 2019.

He said in the first quarter of 2019, TH’s earnings was RM623 million and it recorded a net profit of RM440 million.

“TH’s earnings are expected to keep growing during the second quarter with the  issuance of sukuk by a special purpose vehicle company which will give returns of almost RM800 million and the implementation of a new investment coordination process,” he said. – Bernama