By OMAR REDZUAN
IN the old days, it was not easy to perform the haj.
People from all walks of life from all over the world had to clamber and jostle for position to grab a place among the haj quota.
Some traveled by air, land, and sea and even walked to go to Mecca to fulfill Allah’s fifth commandment.
It was only in 1963 when Royal Emeritus Professor Ungku Aziz mooted the idea to set up Lembaga Tabung Haji.
And today Lembaga Tabung Haji or TH is recognised as one of the most efficient pilgrim management organisations in the world.
TH’s name is renowned the world over and many other Islamic countries can’t even come close to replicate TH’s business model to manage their respective pilgrims.
Hence, it is very important that Muslims in Malaysia continue to support our beloved TH.
If TH fails to operate, ultimately it will be unable to help serve the rakyat.
It was reported that the Saudi Arabian government was demolishing old hotels to make way for new hotels.
These new hotels might be far away from Masjidil Haram.
This would further the distance between the pilgrims and the mosque.
Thus it is important that pilgrims continue to support TH to make it easier for them to go to the mosque.
TH is also expected to do well this year and is on track to pay higher dividends to depositors.
This is due to TH’s higher net profit of RM500 million for the first 9 months of the year.
TH also has an additional 87,000 depositors and extra RM1 billion in assets.
This is no mean feat and is all due to the prudent management of the TH team.
This is done by diversifying their income to invest in property, stock market, travel, plantations, and others.
However, TH cannot exist in isolation.
It must have the support of the rakyat in order to survive.
No doubt, TH’s image was stained in the past by mismanagement and power abuse by the previous government.
But TH has emerged stronger now ready to take on the business challenges ahead.
But it can only do so with the support of the rakyat.
The Muslims in Malaysia must always remember the role of TH which has sent our parents and grandparents to Mekah and Madina.
Never abandon TH.