Malaysian pilgrims' exemplary behaviour contribute to Masyair success

Sofea Chok Suat Ling

MINA: The good behaviour and discipline of Malaysian pilgrims is one of the factors which has contributed to the success of Masyair for this year's haj season. Masyair, which refers to the massive movement of pilgrims from Makkah to Arafah for wukuf, onwards to Muzdalifah for half a night, and then Mina for the stoning ritual, ends tomorrow with all pilgrims returning to Makkah.

The open area in Muzdalifah where Malaysian pilgrims spent half a night was spotlessly clean compared with the rubbish strewn area occupied by pilgrims from other countries

Tabung Haji (TH) lauded the good behavior of Malaysian pilgrims this haj season, saying they exhibited exemplary attitudes towards cleanliness and when confronted with adversity. TH head of the Malaysian 1439H haj delegation Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman said they helped make haj operations under Masyair smooth and relatively problem free. "The Malaysian tent site in Arafah was left as clean as when they arrived." Pilgrims spent one night at the tents in Arafah. "In the open area in Muzdalifah too where they spent half a night, pilgrims picked up after themselves and the Malaysian area was the cleanest. We hope it will be the same here in Mina. "We want photos and videos of our clean sites to go viral the way photos of Japanese fans cleaning up the stadium after a World Cup match recently in Russia did," he said after launching a cleanliness campaign at the Mina Malaysian tent site here. Pilgrims stay three nights in Mina.

Syed Saleh (center) launching the gotong-royong in Mina

A massive gotong-royong exercise was held with pilgrims picking up rubbish around their tents. Many participated headed by TH volunteers called Sahabat Maktab. The cleanliness campaign aimed to ensure tent sites occupied by Malaysians served as an example to be emulated by other countries. "This campaign, held for the first time, will continue to be carried out in upcoming haj seasons. Cleanliness will also be a topic we will stress on during our pre-haj courses." Syed Saleh said the decorum, cultured behaviour, and strict observation of rules and regulations by Malaysian pilgrims has been acknowledged by the Saudi government and Muassasah for Southeast Asia.

The good behaviour and discipline of Malaysian pilgrims is one of the factors which has contributed to the success of Masyair for this year's haj season.

"The Saudi government always brings up how well behaved our pilgrims are and has accorded us many privileges as a result. The Muassasah has also on its part increased the number of general workers to clean up the toilets, for example." Syed Saleh said Malaysian pilgrims also exhibited patience and resilience following the storm a day before wukuf in Arafah which damaged tents. "They were calm and cooperated with the Muassasah who undertook immediate repairs. Their attitude ensured all Malaysian pilgrims were safe." The storm, accompanied by very strong winds, buffeted the tents of pilgrims and caused a power outage throughout the entire tent site last Sunday. It started just before sundown around 6.30pm (local time), catching pilgrims offguard, and lasted until about 8pm. On the stoning ritual, Syed Saleh said pilgrims adhered to the schedule for Malaysians which was after asar prayer time onwards in the evening. "Only very few pilgrims did not follow the schedule. Some of them got lost as a result and had to be assisted by our patrol teams. We hope they will abide by the schedule in future."

The tents for Malaysian pilgrims in Arafah were spotlessly clean after wukuf but the tents of pilgrims from another country were littered with rubbish

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