PUTRAJAYA, April 8 — The government will continue providing the subsidy for performing the haj pilgrimage this year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad.
The minister, when giving the assurance, however said the government had yet to decide on the amount of subsidy to be given to haj pilgrims.
Idris said he would discuss with Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) on the cost of performing the pilgrimage for Muassasah haj pilgrims before presenting it to the Cabinet that would make the final decision on the matter.
“We will give the subsidy, insyaAllah. I cannot announce the amount yet as it is still under embargo,” he told the media after the Federal Territory Hospital Welfare Fund contribution presentation ceremony, here today.
Yesterday, TH, in a statement said that the cost of performing haj for Muassasah pilgrims this year was expected to increase to more than RM25,000 per person following the hike in taxes and new service charges imposed by the Saudi Arabian government.
It said the cost was due to a 12 per cent increase in cost for Muassasah pilgrims compared with RM22,900 in 2019, taking into account the hike in Value-added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 15 per cent and some additional service charges.
TH has maintained the haj payment rate of RM9,980 for the past 13 years even though the cost of performing the pilgrimage has increased every year.
At today’s ceremony, Idris on behalf of the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) presented cash contributions totalling RM1.03 million to 12 hospitals and medical centres in the three federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.
The recipients were Hospital Canselor Tunku Muhriz, National Heart Institute Foundation, Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Putrajaya Hospital, Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Labuan Hospital, National Cancer Council, Tunku Azizah Hospital, Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital, National Cancer Institute, Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital and Malaysian Medical Welfare Fund.
Idris hoped that the contributions would be used by the hospitals and health institutions to help less fortunate patients get necessary treatment at their facilities.