Malaysia requests higher haj quota from Saudi king

Malaysia has submitted a request to Saudi Arabian authorities for more places for Malaysians to perform the haj.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom said this would allow Malaysians who were registered for a long time, to perform the pilgrimage at an earlier date.

Jamil Khir said he had delivered a personal letter from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to the Saudi minister in charge of haj and endowment, to be forwarded to King Abdullah in hopes that the Saudi monarch would give his consent.

“Normally, they will inform us about the quota by the end of Syaaban or early Ramadan,” he told reporters.

According to Jamil Khir, those aged 75 and above would be given special consideration to fill up the additional 10,000 places .

The official haj quota for Malaysia currently stands at 26,000.

A total of 693,000 people are on the Tabung Haji waiting list, including 2,000 elderly folk.

Jamil Khir said Tabung Haji had made arrangements with regard to accommodation for Malaysian pilgrims in Mecca and Medina.

He further said that the Saudi Arabian government urged all pilgrims not to focus on 13 Zulhijjah to complete their pilgrimage.

“The Saudi authorities request that pilgrims do so a day later, on 14 Zulhijjah, to prevent congestion at the Kaabah and the city of Mecca.

– Bernama