Islamic Lifestyle

Malaysia: New tech to improve haj management

| 09 August, 2018
 Sofea Chok Suat Ling
Malaysia: New tech to improve haj management
All information on Malaysian haj pilgrims - from their flights to the Holy Land to how many are in hospital - have been integrated into one single system for the first time this haj season. Image via New Straits Times

AUGUST 9, 2018 | 11:52AM MYT | MAKKAH

All information on Malaysian haj pilgrims - from their flights to the Holy Land to how many are in hospital - have been integrated into one single system for the first time this haj season.

This new technology is part of Tabung Haji's (TH) efforts to improve the overall management of haj pilgrims and information flow between units on the ground, as well as provide a faster response time.

TH operations director for Makkah Datuk Ahmad Sohaimi Abd Rahim said all the information could be seen on a display called Dashboard Maktab which can be accessed by TH maktab managers and staff.

"The dashboard display, developed by TH subsidiary Theta Edge Berhad, auto-updates daily statistics and data on pilgrim arrival, and movement, among others.

"This includes flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, travel from Madinah to Mekah, airport to hotel, the contact number of drivers, and others. We can also see the demography of pilgrims.

"All data obtained throughout the operation is recorded and analysed for trends and potential areas for future improvement.

"The dashboard incorporates information from five existing systems and also those currently recorded manually," he told Malaysian media at TH headquarters Abraj Al-Janadriyah.

Among the information incorporated into the dashboard are those from an application called Haj Mobility, which is important especially during the Masyair period.

Masyair is a crucial part of the haj and involves a massive movement of pilgrims - close to three million from around the world - from Makkah to Arafah for wukuf, and then onwards to Muzdalifah, and Mina for the stoning ritual. It is expected to start on Aug 19.

"TH officers will report information sector by sector, and it will be updated and displayed in the app on their (pilgrims) mobile phones," Sohaimi said.

He said for example, the departure of each bus transporting Malaysian pilgrims to Mina would be reported in the app, and updated when the buses arrive at their destination.

He said the application had a search function, where TH officers could call up data on any pilgrim or officer and know which maktab they were from, where they were staying and other information.

"With Haj Mobility, all the pilgrims' data is in our pocket."

Sohaimi said this data was stored in an integrated information system and was available offline.

On whether information from pilgrims' e-Lencana would be incorporated into the dashboard, Sohaimi said it would be once all problems were resolved following the pilot project.

The e-Lencana tag has been implemented as a pilot project this year among 6,000 pilgrims from two maktab staying at Abraj Al-Janadriyah, which is also the TH headquarters.

The tag optimises low emission bluetooth technology to track pilgrims.