101-year-old man in Makkah to perform haj

22 Jul 2019 / 08:42 H.

MAKKAH: At 101 years of age, Abdul Gapak Mahmud never thought he would be performing his haj, but this year, he not only got to do that, but even celebrated his birthday there.

A former fisherman from Kudat, Sabah, Abdul Gapak, who is here with his wife, Siti Maimun Hassan, 60, said he was thankful for the chance to perform the haj at his age.

“I am happy here, there are no problems,” he told reporters when met at a special birthday celebration organised by Muassasah Asia Tenggara at the Abraj Janadriyah here yesterday.

Muassasah Asia Tenggara has been appointed by the Saudi Arabian government to manage facilities for pilgrims from South East Asia, including accommodations and transportation.

Also present at the birthday celebration were the head of Muassasah Asia Tenggara Mohamad Amin Hassan Andaqiri and head of the Tabung Haji (TH) haj facilitating team Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.

This year, 30,200 Malaysians will perform their haj here, assisted by 640 TH staff. So far, 13,000 of the pilgrims have arrived here and in Madinah.

Abdul Gapak who turned 101 on July 3 said he is careful with his diet and avoids fried food. He also loves to eat all sorts of vegetables. And most of all, he said, he always prays to Allah for good health.

“I do not have any specific prayer, but I just ask for good health and long life, I am grateful to have lived this long,” the father of six who arrived here last Saturday with Siti Maimun, said.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Amin said the pilgrims here celebrated Abdul Gapak’s birthday because they see each other more as a family than just fellow pilgrims.

“We look at him as a father-figure,” he said, adding that so far, Abdul Gapak is the oldest pilgrim from South East Asia, but a 130-year-old man from Indonesia is expected to arrive soon. — Bernama

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