Malaysian pilgrims should always be disciplined and maintain the country's good name while on the Holy Land to perform the fifth pillar of Islam, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar.

"Muslims are known for their discipline and on that basis I advise them to maintain their discipline and Malaysia's good name while on the Holy Land so as not to affect the country's image and our good relations with Saudi Arabia," he said at the sending-off of the Malaysian Haj pilgrims for the 1444H season here today.

A total of 356 Malaysian pilgrims will depart for Madinah via flight SV5669 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 5.35 pm today.

Mohd Na'im also reminded the pilgrims to comply with all the rules set by the Saudi Arabian government, as well as regulations set by Tabung Haji and to focus on performing their pilgrimage.

He also stressed the importance of tolerance and patience when performing the pilgrimage as the pilgrims are from various races and customs.

The first batch of Malaysian haj pilgrims left for the Holy Land on May 21 and the last flight is on June 21. The pilgrims will return in stages with the first flight starting on July 6, while the last return flight on Aug 2.

This year, a total of 98 special charter flights, involving Malaysia Airlines and Saudia Airlines, will be used to carry the 31,600 Malaysian pilgrims to the Holy Land, compared to 48 last year.

Wuquf day, which is the 9th of Zulhijah, is expected to fall on June 27.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency