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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Decision on Haj depends on Saudi Arabia approval, says minister

 


The decision whether to send Malaysian pilgrims for the Haj this year depends on the approval of the Saudi Arabian government and the Covid-19 situation, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri.

He said he always keeps in touch with the Saudi Arabian government to get the latest updates on this matter.

“It not only involves Malaysian pilgrims but also (pilgrims) from all over the world. I am confident in the wisdom (of the Saudi Arabian government) in making a decision on the matter.

“As a government, we want an official decision (on the haj approval). We will fulfil whatever conditions that have been set,” he told reporters after launching ‘Kit Ramah’ and handing over wheelchairs to patients at three hospitals today.

At the event, Zulkifli handed over 600 Ramah Kits containing ‘tayammum’ sand, spray bottles for ablution, as well as 15 wheelchairs worth RM13,200 to patients at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Putrajaya Hospital and the National Cancer Institute.

On whether Malaysian pilgrims would be given priority to receive the Covid-19 vaccine once the haj approval is received, Zulkifli said the matter would be discussed at a cabinet meeting.

Saudi Arabian Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah was previously reported to have said only people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to perform the haj this year.

However, he did not mention whether pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia were allowed to perform the haj pilgrimage.

Last year, the Saudi Arabian government reduced the number of pilgrims to 1,000 to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Bernama

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