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Friday, June 30, 2017

Malaysia Airlines screens prayers before take-off

National carrier says the practice of displaying a prayer for 15 seconds has been observed since 2014.
malaysia-airline-prayerPETALING JAYA: National carrier Malaysia Airlines says a prayer is displayed on its in-flight entertainment screen on all commercial flights prior to take-off.
Its corporate communications department said this had been the airline’s practice since 2014.
“It is displayed for 15 seconds. We have the prayer displayed on all the screens on all our aircraft before take-off,” the department’s spokesperson told FMT in a message over WhatsApp.
FMT had also contacted low-cost carriers AirAsia and Firefly on the issue. Both responded by saying they did not want to comment on the matter.
They were asked to respond to media reports quoting Federal Territories mufti Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri who had proposed that all local airlines begin their flights with a prayer.
According to a Malaysiakini report, Zulkifli had said Muslims are encouraged to say a prayer before embarking on a journey to ensure smooth and safe travel.
He said it was a good practice that should be promoted.
“As such, we sincerely propose that airlines in Malaysia, such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo and Firefly, begin their journeys with a prayer,” he was quoted as saying.
The report said several Arab airlines such as Saudi Air, Etihad and Qatar Airways play a pre-recorded prayer before take-off.
The issue came to the fore after an AirAsia X pilot reportedly asked passengers on board flight D7237 to pray when the plane faced engine problems on June 25.
Former minister Zaid Ibrahim criticised the pilot’s move, saying it could have caused more anxiety among passengers.
However, Zaid was in turn criticised by several quarters, many of whom said there was nothing wrong in asking the passengers to pray.
Flight D7237 was bound for Kuala Lumpur from Perth when it encountered technical problems which reportedly caused the aircraft to shake “like a washing machine”, as described by some passengers.
The flight turned back to Perth 90 minutes after take-off.
Ivy Chong contributed to this article. -FMT

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