Friday, 19 April 2013

The First Malaysian Hajj Flight

The Hajj was celebrated twice in 1974. The first Hajj was early in the year (2-6 January 1974; 1393 Hijrah). The second Hajj was at the end of the year (22-26 December 1974; 1394 Hijrah).

My father had performed his first Hajj during winter, on 22-26 December 1974. He had taken the first Hajj flight from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia. He wrote 'Aku di Mekah, Disember 1974' as a filename on one of his Hajj photos in his pendrive.

Before the Hajj flight, Malaysian pilgrims boarded ships to go to Makkah. They also returned by ships. From late 1974 onward, the pilgrims took flights from Malaysia. The ships have since ceased to be used. I didn't notice the significance of this first Hajj flight till I became aware of it tonight.


Ziarah Jabal Nur Gua Thur
Ziarah Jabal Rahmah, on the Plains of Arafah
Atop Jabal Rahmah
At the foothill of Jabal Rahmah
Uncertain which mosque this is
Same as above
Same as above

Haji Abdul Rashid bin Haji Mohd Yusope
a former first year medical student at the KE VII, Singapore , 1950/51.
'Aku di Mekah, Disember 1974'
He then went to Leeds University after the Hajj.
External links

Obituary: Tan Sri Aishah Ghani

Today, I received sad news of my grandaunt's demise. I heard her name before I went to school in Alor Star, Kedah. Her cousin, the late Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail (Coco) also told me about her and explained his relationship with her family. Her father and Coco's father were blood brothers. Coco went to fetch chickens in Alor Star during the war, where Aishah's father lived.

Bapak always told me about her but he didn't mention our families were related. I only knew from Coco that we were.

I have never met her in person. As a small child and teenager, I would always come close to the TV to watch her and listen to whatever she said. I read her biography in a book at Arkib Negara Malaysia before I completed writing my books on The Early Malay Doctors. She comes from a Malay background with religious upbringing. She went to Sumatra to study there.

Tan Sri Aishah Ghani was the first female MP in the first Malaysian Cabinet. She worked alongside Malaysia's PMs - Tunku, Tun Razak, Tun Hussien Onn and Tun Mahathir.

She passed away today, Friday, 19 April 2013 at noon. She is laid to rest at Tanah Perkuburan Islam at Bukit Kiara.

Aishah Ghani while in Pahang, handing a scroll to Dr Mohamed bin Taib, an early Malay doctor.
Photo from the album of Dr Mohamed Taib's family.