Religious affairs minister: Govt studying visa-related procedures for umrah

General view of the Grand Mosque at the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia March 6, 2020. Previously, Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad said Malaysians were expected to be allowed to visit Saudi Arabia, including to perform the umrah pilgrimage this year. — Reuters
General view of the Grand Mosque at the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia March 6, 2020. Previously, Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad said Malaysians were expected to be allowed to visit Saudi Arabia, including to perform the umrah pilgrimage this year. — Reuters

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BENTONG, Aug 10 ― The government is looking into several procedures, including those related to visas, before allowing Malaysians to perform umrah, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad.

“We are collecting as much information as possible regarding umrah. We need to look at the whole aspect and we may also take a closer look at how to combine tourist visa with umrah visa, for instance.

“When we have complete and accurate information, we will announce it from time to time,” he told reporters after the Musaadah Assistance Programme 2021 in Janda Baik here today, with Islamic Dakwah Foundation Malaysia (Yadim) chief executive officer Tuan Kamarul Arief Tuan Soh also present.

Previously, Zulkifli said Malaysians were expected to be allowed to visit Saudi Arabia, including to perform the umrah pilgrimage this year.

However, it would depend on the current Covid-19 situation and vaccination rate in Malaysia as well as the permission from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has reopened its doors to tourists from 49 countries including Malaysia since August 1, by simplifying procedures in obtaining an entry visa for a period of one year and allowing a stay of up to 90 days in the kingdom.

Elaborating on today’s programme, Zulkifli said over 100 boxes of daily necessities were distributed to asnaf (tithe recipients) through Yadim.

He said Yadim delivered the donations on a daily basis through its volunteers across the country and hoped that it would ease the burden of recipients. ― Bernama

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