Malaysia requests for higher haj quota

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By AFP

The government has requested Saudi Arabia to consider raising the haj quota in line with Malaysia’s growing population.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Malaysia’s haj quota could be increased to 31,000 from the current 30,200 based on Organisation of Islamic Countries’ (OIC) quota scheme for each member country.

The OIC’s consensus, which was agreed since 1978, sets the haj quota for each country at the rate of 0.1% of the population based on the United Nation’s (UN) world population prospects statistics.

“Our latest population, according to the UN, is 31 million. Based on the 0.1% formula, we should be getting a 31,000 haj quota,” Mujahid told reporters yesterday upon his arrival from an annual meeting in Saudi Arabia on matters relating to haj.

Currently, Mujahid said Malaysia’s pilgrim quota remains at 30,200 for the 2019 season.

He added that the  cost for Tabung Haji’s (TH) depositors is maintained at RM9,980 per pilgrim, although the pilgrimage fund is currently undergoing a major restructuring and turnaround programme.

The minister also said the Saudi government has praised TH as one of the best pilgrimage management institution in the world and Malaysian pilgrims for having good manners and attitude.

Annually, Saudi Arabia hosted about two million pilgrims from all around the world to perform haj in Mecca.

Mujahid said the pre-clearance system for Malaysian pilgrims at the point of departure will be continued to eliminate hassle in Saudi Arabian airports.