MADINAH, Tabung Haji (TH) will strive to ensure a smooth immigration process for Malaysian pilgrims at the Prince Mohammad Abdulaziz International Airport here despite the simultaneous arrival of pilgrims from Indonesia.(Tabung Haji is Malaysia’s pilgrimage Management Board).
TH Terminal Operations (Madinah) manager Mohd Ramli Zakaria said the pilgrims of both countries would normally arrive at the same terminal on 7th Zulkaedah (July 21) in every haj season.
We have taken several measures including conducting a post-mortem on pre-departure (process) the other day. We have also improved rapport with the staff of United Agent, the pilgrim and baggage handling operator.
(In fact,) we keep ourselves updated on the arrival of the Malaysian pilgrims and take initiative to alert the staff here in helping the pilgrims with their baggages at the terminal, he told a press conference here yesterday.
Mohd Ramli said the Saudi authorities had also given assurance to assist haj staff at the airport if there were issues such as no-show of buses and congestion at the parking area.
They (Saudi authorities) will also provide assistance to the Malaysian pilgrims when leaving the terminal. I am confident that with the good relations with the authorities, the immigration process will be smooth, he said.
Mohd Ramli said Malaysia and Indonesia were two countries involved in the Saudi government’s ‘Road to Makkah’ or Tariq Makkah programme this year.
Under the programme, the immigration clearance and baggage inspection for the pilgrims are done by the Saudi government in their respective home countries, instead of Saudi Arabia, to shorten the immigration process.
Mohd Ramli said at the same time, Tabung Haji had been working on several initiatives to reduce the pilgrims’ travel time between the airport and their accommodation, especially for those arriving during the daytime.
Initially, the pilgrims were transported according to their bus numbers. However, with our new strategy, buses which are full will leave the terminal first without having to wait for the pilgrims on their designated bus, he said.
According to Mohd Ramli, with this initiative, the travel time would be shortened to 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes at present.
A total of 10 haj charter flights from Malaysia, carrying about 10,000 pilgrims, have landed at the Prince Mohammad Abdulaziz International Airport since July 14.
Source: NAM News Network