KOTA BARU, May 29 — The decision as to whether the government will continue sending pilgrims for haj season this year will be made in a Cabinet meeting, to be held in the near future, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary.
He said it is also understood that there are several countries which have decided not to send pilgrims to perform haj this year.
“Whatever it is, we will wait for the Cabinet’s decision. I believe it will be soon.
“Indeed, our country is allowed to perform the haj based on a quota, but the number or quota is still unclear,” he said.
He said this to reporters after witnessing the presentation of food items donated by the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM), Kelantan branch, to the residents of Kampung Pauh Lima, today.
Ahmad Marzuk said that, based on information obtained, the Saudi Arabian government only allowed 60,000 pilgrims this year, namely 45,000 pilgrims from around the world and 15,000 pilgrims from the country itself.
“Malaysia also gets a certain quota but we have not yet received a clear decision (on the actual number of pilgrims) from the Saudi Arabian government. We expect to obtain the quota in the near future,” he said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Sinovac vaccine which is not recognised by Saudi Arabia, Ahmad Marzuk, who is also the MP for Pengkalan Chepa, said that the government would comply with such rules if they were set by the country.
“The question does not actually arise because many people in this country have taken the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and this vaccine is recognised by Saudi Arabia,” he said. — Bernama