Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri had in a press release yesterday (11 June) said that Malaysia will not be sending pilgrims to perform the haj this year following the Saudi Arabian’s Government to allow only residents and citizens from within the kingdom to perform pilgrimage this year.
He added that this decision was made after the Saudi Government took into the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world. Meanwhile, Malaysia will respect their decision.
“I received a phone call just now from Dr Abdelfattah Sulaiman Mashat, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Haj and Umrah, regarding the decision of the Saudi Arabian government on the involvement of pilgrims from foreign countries for the 1442H haj season.”
“Therefore, on behalf of the Malaysian government, I would like to state that Malaysia will not send pilgrims for the 1442H haj season, abiding by and respecting the decision of the Saudi Arabian government which only allows haj to be performed by the residents and citizens from within the kingdom,” he said.
He said that the notice is consistent with the information that had been conveyed to Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein from his counterpart, Prince Faisal Farhan Al Saud.
Nevertheless, Zulkifli mentioned that all the affairs of Malaysians who are already there and had been selected to perform the haj will be managed by the Lembaga Tabung Haji, and of course, abiding to the standard operating procedures (SOP) given by Saudi Government.
Zulkifli also apologised to all prospective pilgrims who had to postpone their pilgrimage this year.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Government had set a maximum number of 60,000 pilgrims for the annual haj pilgrimage to citizens and residents. According to reports, only people aged between 18 and 65 who have been vaccinated will be able to perform the haj.
Watch the press release here: