Malaysia hoping for early decision on haj quota – Idris

By BERNAMA

BUKIT GANTANG, April 2 –- The government is hoping for a swift decision by the Saudi Arabian government on this year’s haj quota for Malaysian pilgrims. 

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad said this would facilitate early preparations in terms of hotel accommodation and transportation. 

“The government understands the constraints faced by Saudi Arabia following the COVID-19 pandemic and this is all beyond our control. We pray to be given an increased haj quota this year. 

“Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has just allowed Umrah pilgrims to Mecca and so far we (Tabung Haji) will give priority to haj pilgrims listed for the years 2020 and 2021 to perform the Haj this year,” he told reporters after handing out Ramadan contributions to the local community in Changkat Jering here today. 

Idris said those listed have already been informed to be on standby.

“We pray to Allah for an additional quota this year,” he said. 

The usual haj quota for Malaysia prior to the pandemic was 32,000 people. 

Separately, Idris said the meeting to be held between Pas president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang and Pejuang chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was just a cordial meeting between two leaders. 

“In PAS, our leaders meet everyone, and that is the great thing about PAS. As for Tun M (Dr Mahathir), we have met him before, even when he was Prime Minister. PAS engages with everyone,” he said.

Last Friday, Abdul Hadi confirmed that he will be meeting Dr Mahathir soon. This comes after Dr Mahathir told the media this week that Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had also met him recently on the possibility of cooperating in the 15th general election.