476 haj pilgrims including senator stranded in Jeddah

KUALA LUMPUR: A senator was among 476 Malaysian haj pilgrims, believed to be under the supervision of the Pilgrims Fund Board (TH), stranded in Jeddah since Saturday due to the rescheduling of their flight.

Senator Isa Ab Hamid, who was among the stranded. said that he was led to understand the postponement of the flight schedule was due to the technical hitch to the aircraft which should have departed from the King Abdul Aziz Airport, Jeddah to KL International Airport (KLIA), on Aug 24.

Until to date, he said that the TH management had yet to inform them of the date and time of their return flight from Jeddah to Malaysia. Isa, who was still in Jeddah, said this had caused emotional stress among the haj pilgrims due to shortage of money and inadequate change of clothes.

‘Today is the third day (being stranded) and there is still no schedule home. Many of the haj pilgrims have no additional funds while their bags are already in the aircraft. Many haj pilgrims have become stressed and counsellors have not been provided until to date,’’ he told Bernama by chat message.

He said all the stranded haj pilgrims were staying at two hotels in Jeddah. Most were from Johor, Kelantan and Kedah.

He said the TH management were very helpful in the aspect of accommodation, food and drinks and transportation.

‘’The services of a doctor have been provided by TH to treat several haj pilgrims who are ill, but much has to be improved in haj management especially when there is a crisis like this or unexpected problems,’’ he added.