: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today advised Malaysians going to perform the Haj this year to pray for Malaysia to remain peaceful and achieve many successes in the international arena.
"Perform the Haj to the extent possible. Do not forget to pray for our beloved Malaysia. Pray for Allah (God) to shower His blessings on our country so that it remains peaceful and successful and is respected by all.
"Hopefully, all pilgrims will be able to undertake a good Haj. A safe journey to and fro, and undertake the Haj in peace and calm," he said when bidding Bon Voyage to the second batch of Malaysian Haj pilgrims at the Kelana Jaya Tabung Haji Complex near here.
Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Malaysia Mahmoud Hussen Qattan were also present at the event.
The second batch of pilgrims comprises 420 people scheduled to fly to the Holy Land at 9.30 pm. The first batch of about 400 people left at about 6 am.
A total of 112 flights by Malaysia Airlines and Flynas will ferry 30,200 pilgrims to the Holy Land in this Haj season, with the last outbound flight on Aug 26.
Najib drew attention to the good conduct of Malaysian pilgrims and said this had resulted in the Saudi Arabian government raising Malaysia's country quota of pilgrims for this year.
"We in Malaysia benefit from many privileges. Do not think that this came by chance. This is the result of the government's actions.
"It is not that I want to claim credit for everything. This is the outcome of the good conduct of our pilgrims in the Holy Land, a model for others," he said.
Najib also said that the efficiency of government administration and Tabung Haji management were also taken into account by Riyadh in raising the quota that was applied for in 2013 and approved this year.
"Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), the quota was raised following the request I made during the visit of King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia recently.
"The special consideration has resulted in the raising of the Haj quota to 30,200 from 27,900. Now, more people can make the pilgrimage. There is no need to feel pressured," Najib said.
He also said that the special and close relations between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia had contributed to the raising of the quota.
Najib also said that there was a possibility of the subsidy for the pilgrims being raised next year. He did not elaborate.
"We have a subsidy equal to almost the amount paid by a pilgrim, almost 100 per cent. The pilgrims pay RM9,980 and the government subsidises RM9,570. Perhaps, next year, the subsidy will be increased to higher than the RM260 million for this year.
"If Tabung Haji is not managed well and becomes political capital, who will lose? This is our institution that we must care for. It is because of Tabung Haji that we get so much subsidy," he said.
Najib and Rosmah exchanged greetings with the pilgrims.