KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday he was praying for the wellbeing of Malaysian pilgrims during their pilgrimage to Mecca.
In a Twitter post, the prime minister advised the pilgrims to adhere to the regulations of the Saudi Arabian government and to safeguard Malaysia's good name and image. A total of 22,320 Malaysians will be leaving in batches.
The number is fewer by 20 per cent than last year as the Saudi Arabian government had reduced the quota of pilgrims from every country this year.
The first batch of Malaysian pilgrims, comprising 450 people, landed at the Prince Mohamed Abdul Aziz International Airport in Medina last Saturday.
In Medina, haj pilgrims were advised to avoid the scorching sun or getting trapped in the crowd, especially at noon, to avoid heatstroke.
Tabung Haji director of medical operations Dr Suhazeli Abdullah said based on experience, most pilgrims suffered heatstroke because of exposure to extreme temperatures and overcrowding.
"The symptoms are dizziness, vomiting and subsequently fainting. The peak period for the heat is from 9am to 4pm.
"Pilgrims must take care of their health as temperatures in the holy land can reach more than 40 degrees Celsius. Drink lots of water," she told Malaysian reporters here yesterday.
Dr Suhazeli said Tabung Haji had provided a healthcare centre with 24 beds, an emergency ward, a laboratory and physiotherapy service to Malaysian pilgrims. Bernama