14,306 Malaysian pilgrims for haj this year

This follows Saudi Arabia’s announcement that the total pilgrimage quota for this year is 1m, a reduction by 40% compared to the 2.5m in 2019

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic by TMR FILE

THE quota for Malaysian pilgrims for this year’s haj season is 14,306 people, compared to the previous annual quota of 31,600 people, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad.

This followed Saudi Arabia’s announcement that the total haj pilgrimage quota for this year is one million.

This overall quota is a reduction by 40% compared to the 2.5 million in 2019, due to assessments and precautions in ensuring the health and safety of pilgrims worldwide.

Idris said although the quota has been reduced, 85% of the one million pilgrims is allocated for foreign pilgrims which is higher than 2019’s 75%.

Among the conditions for this year’s haj season, only pilgrims under 65 years old are allowed;

pilgrims must be free of chronic illness; have Covid-19 vaccination certificates; and must submit a negative polymerase chain reaction test result within 72 hours from the time of departure.

He added that Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) is currently making final preparations to bring prospective Malaysian haj pilgrims to the Holy Land after a two-year delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“TH will issue an offer letter to prospective selected pilgrims who will be asked to undergo a health check-up and respond to the offer letter promptly.

“They are also advised to be prepared with the relevant documents, especially passports.

“Furthermore, all Malaysian pilgrims must take the mandatory meningococcal injection as well as the Covid-19 vaccine when called by the Health Ministry,” Idris said live on Facebook yesterday.

He also informed that TH will continue the regular haj payment assistance for prospective pilgrims this year. The new payment schedule will be announced today.