KUALA LUMPUR: The government will get input from the relevant authorities before allowing pilgrims to perform umrah in Saudi Arabia, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said so far, the Saudi Arabian government has yet to make any official notification or statements regarding the haj pilgrimage, which is expected to be on June 11,2021.
"So, before any decisions whether to allow Muslims to perform their umrah pilgrimage, the government will get the necessary input and advice from the National Security Council and the Health Ministry," he said in his winding-up speech of the 2021 Budget at the policy stage on Monday (Nov 23).
The umrah pilgrimage usually attracts millions of Muslims from all over the world each year and is a big source of income for the kingdom.
Zulkifli said the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has created serious public health and safety risks across the world.
"The pandemic so far has infected more than 55.6 million people with some 1.34 million casualties all over the world.
"As the host country of umrah and haj, Saudi Arabia will continue to monitor the development of the pandemic before issuing any official statements regarding the resumption of umrah and haj pilgrimages especially for those coming from abroad.
He noted that on Sept 22, the Saudi government has allowed a 10-day entry for foreigners who intend to perform the umrah in Mecca.
"The performance of umrah is subject to strict standard operating procedures to curb the spread of Covid-19 among pilgrims," he added.