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MECCA - With Masyair less than 10 days away, this year’s haj season has entered its critical phase, the head of Malaysia’s 1438H haj delegation Datuk Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman said.

“We have moved into the period of haj’s climax. We must ensure everything proceeds smoothly. This will be our focus moving forward,” he said in a special address to Tabung Haji (TH) officers in the Holy Land.

The TH gathering at Abraj Al-Janadriyah here, streamed live to TH offices in Madinah and Jeddah, was attended by all operation directors, maktab managers and TH officers.

Masyair – when pilgrims gather at Arafah, Muzdalifah and Mina from 8 to 13 Zulhijjah and perform the necessary rituals – is a necessary condition to complete one’s haj.

Syed Saleh reminded TH officers from the various departments to do their best, be proactive and fulfil their respective tasks.

“It will be challenging because of the increase in pilgrims this year. We can expect traffic jams on the roads, and crowded tents in Arafah and Mina,” he added.

The Saudi government restored the pilgrim quota of most countries for this year’s haj season, which is expected to see a total of two million worshippers. Malaysia’s haj

KUALA LUMPUR - Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said it is compulsory for every hotel in Malaysia to register with his ministry.

He said the rule will facilitate collection of the Tourism Tax, which comes into effect on Aug 1.

“The Tourism Tax is (applicable to) foreign tourists staying at hotels with more than five rooms,” Nazri told reporters after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Adelaide Festival Centre's OzAsia Festival and the

PUTRAJAYA - Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) settlers have expressed their gratitude to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for granting special incentives to ensure the welfare and prosperity of the community.

Felda settlers' head Samsudin Othman said the short, medium and long-term incentives were welcome news for all 112,635 settlers in the 317 Felda settlements across the country, to help ease their burden and the debt relief incentive would provide relief to settlers.

"We

PUTRAJAYA - A university college is to be established in Malaysia with courses dedicated to design-thinking focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said the setting up of the so-called Genovasi University College (GUC), with 'genovasi' formed from 'generasi and inovasi' (generation and innovation), had the approval of the Higher Education Ministry.

The college would reach out to a wider audience and position Malaysia as a hub to promote

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is positive of attaining the Tier One by complying fully with the minimum standards to curb human trafficking crimes, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

According to the United States annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released by the United States State Department on June 27, Malaysia has upgraded to Tier Two as a country that did not fully meet the minimum standards of the United States Human Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000

SERDANG - The Government will study in depth the request from the Indian Muslim community to be recognised as Bumiputra, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) said.

He said, however, the matter of how it would be implemented required further research in terms of administration or gazettement.

"I heard the demand made by the Federation of Malaysian Indian Muslim Associations (Permim) president Dhajudeen Shahul Hameed, and I accept that Indian Muslims are like Bumiputras," he said at

PETALING JAYA - Pakatan Harapan has committed to the process of freeing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from jail within one week of forming the next government.

Its newly announced chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic), the former premier of 22 years, said that this would follow the legal process with the application of a royal pardon for Anwar who has been jailed for sodomy.

"We will wait for the law to take its course, not immediately because the prime minister who takes over will have a lot to

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