I have highlighted the role of TH in the hajj rites executed by fellow pilgrims, many of whom were the early Malay doctors. Many early doctors had perform the hajj and for many they traveled by ships before flights became available. The first flight was in 1974/75.
At the time my 2 books went to print I hadn't had time to request more information about TH activities. TH has compiled/published books/reports on its hajj trips. Some of the early Malay doctors served on board TH ships and also at Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah. It took very long to reach Jeddah and to return to Malaya.
We visited Tabung Haji again on 27 December 2012 after solat zohor. We met with a friendly Haji Amin on the 11th floor and he said to see the Timbalan Pengarah TH on the 9th floor. Down we went on the technicians' lift with plywood as wall cover. On the 9th floor, Affandi pressed the bell and we were allowed in. Once inside, we were warmly greeted and asked why we came and whom we wanted to see. Affandi said we got books to give to the Timbalan Pengarah TH and we were asked to be seated. I saw a young man in blue silk batik shirt talking to another senior man in yellow silk batik shirt some distance from where I was seated. It's Thursday and it is government general orders that men wear batik shirts to work. The man in yellow batik shirt was working on the computer and turned to look at me. He must think somebody came to the wrong place for the wrong reason. We waited less than 5 minutes and the young man in blue batik shirt called us in to meet his superior. The man in yellow batik shirt pushed himself away from his computer and stationed himself at his main desk as he welcomed us in. Then I knew he was THE BOSS!! I'm glad. Since he was busy Affandi said we would only take a few minutes of his time. We were asked to sit and Affandi quickly gave him my 2 books. As we sat, the boss asked "Dari mana?" Affandi replied "Dari USM." Then Affandi explained "Buku ini isteri saya tulis dan ada banyak maklumat dia ambil daripada TH lama dulu, agak-agak 2008 macam tu. Jadi kami nak bagi buku-buku ni sebagai tanda terima kasih." Gee, I could not have said that correctly and fluently. So it was nice to listen to him speak "Bahasa Melayu Standard". I was tickled but I enjoyed their conversation. I didn't say much because my BM is "tonggang-langgang", and very slow, and my Malay verbs go all over the place, and nobody seems to understand what I say in Malay, except Affandi! It is not even worth trying. Sometimes my kids fail to understand. My Malay text is usually very brief.
The boss's phone buzzed and we thought we had better leave. But he wanted to talk. He said TH supports research and has supported USM research on TH pilgrims. I said that was another group in USM. Affandi explained that many of the early Malay doctors also served as Hajj doctors. The boss said yes. We asked him whether TH had publications. The boss said yes. I said it would be good if TH can provided good report that we can use for our research at USM. In my present research on the early Malay doctors, we obtained information from the former Timbalam Pengarah TH. I said I had used information published in newspapers about hajj travels between 1900 and Merdeka (1957). He was happy to know that. I asked if TH had other reports that would have the details of the doctors who served as hajj doctors between 1900 up till Merdeka. I think TH should have that information. I said I didn't use any data on health statistics or other as we have an understanding that researchers cannot publish sensitive data about TH or the pilgrims' state of health. The boss said researchers can use statistical data (how may got sick of what particular disease, etc). We were happy that the boss had shed some light on the matter. The boss was happy that I had written those 2 books and he said it was a lot of work. He thanked us for the books and we left. I forgot to take photos of him.
|Affandi in front of the lifts on 11th floor, 27 December 2012|
HAJI MUHAMAD ZAKI BIN HAJI BAIJURI
Timbalan Pengarah Negeri
Lembaga Tabung Haji Negeri Kelantan
Wisma Ilmu, Bangunan Tabung Haji
Jalan Doktor, 15000 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
D/L: +609-747 0809; +609-748 1020/748 3770; +609-748 6160
Fax: +609-744 4577
Diurus oleh anak syarikat Tabung Haji
Tel: 09-744 6667
Sebarang Pertanyaan/Aduan boleh disalurkan kepada Tabung Haji Contact Centre
Tel: 03-6207 1919
Fax: 03-7727 959