Saudi Arabia to study Malaysia’s request for Haj quota increase

Saudi’s Minister of Haj and Umrah Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Benten said the OIC had previously discussed the issue and had also made a decision regarding each country’s Haj quota. — Reuters pic
Saudi’s Minister of Haj and Umrah Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Benten said the OIC had previously discussed the issue and had also made a decision regarding each country’s Haj quota. — Reuters pic

MECCA, May 30 — Saudi Arabia will thoroughly study Malaysia’s request for an increase in haj quota this year, said Saudi’s Minister of Haj and Umrah Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.

He said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had previously discussed the issue and had also made a decision regarding each country’s Haj quota.

“The Haj quota for each country has been allocated according to what has been discussed...Malaysia’s official quota had also been given, but there is a request for an increase and of course, this necessitates a study.

“The request had been made (at the highest level) through Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud, and insyaAllah will be studied from the standpoint of preparation and capacity to accommodate the Malaysian pilgrims,” he said in a press conference with local and international media in conjunction with the upcoming 14th OIC Summit on Friday, here.

Themed ‘Makkah al-Mukarramah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future,’ the summit will be attended by leaders of OIC member states and seeks to develop a unified stance on events in the Islamic world.

Meanwhile, Saleh praised the management of Malaysian pilgrims by the country’s Haj affairs’ administrators, describing it as systematic and polished.

“Thank you to Malaysia and Tabung Haji (TH) for the excellent administration and assistance rendered to the Haj pilgrims,” he said.

Earlier, TH chief executive officer Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said Dr Mahathir had sent an official letter to the Saudi Arabian government requesting an increase in Haj quota for the pilgrimage this year but has yet to receive an official reply on the matter. — Bernama

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