Pilgrimage quotas on the agenda during Hisham's official visit to Saudi Arabia

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are set to strengthen ties with Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein flying to the Gulf state on Wednesday (Jan 17).

Among issues expected to be discussed during the visit include haj and umrah quotas.

"I am looking forward to the visit to further bring Malaysia and Saudi Arabia closer together," he told The Star on Tuesday (Jan 16).

He will be meeting his counterpart Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on Thursday (Feb 18).

Hishammuddin said that strict standard operating procedures will be in place for the visit.

Asked if Malaysians will have the opportunity to perform haj and umrah this year, Hishammuddin said it would be up to the Saudi government.

"But we are eager to look into the possibility of more Malaysians being able to perform their pilgrimage," he said.

On Feb 3, the Saudi government suspended the entry of people from 20 countries, namely, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Indonesia, Italy, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Turkey, Sweden, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Japan, Ireland, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland and South Africa.

Malaysia was not on the list of 20 countries temporarily banned from Saudi Arabia as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Saudi Arabia has also delayed the opening of its air, sea, and land border till May 17.

Last year, it allowed only around 10,000 pilgrims to participate in the haj.

It has scaled-back the annual ritual due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Authorities there have yet to announce it will proceed with this year’s haj, which usually starts in July.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


50% readers found this article insightful

Next In Nation

MACC to investigate after PKR’s Sekijang MP lodges report over poaching allegations
Structural repairs on Penang Bridge to be shortened by a week
China to boost Asean ties, supports region in fight against Covid-19
Siblings aged seven, 14, injured, parents die in car-van collision
Covid-19: Sarawak records 201 new cases, two new clusters detected
Covid-19: Eight new clusters identified, five linked to workplaces
PKR’s Sekijang MP lodges report with MACC over poaching allegations
Ismail Sabri: 442 nabbed for Covid-19 SOP violations on Saturday (March 6)
Ismail Sabri: EMCO in Kg Tringgus in Bau, Sarawak from March 8-21
Dr M gives thumbs up after receiving Covid-19 vaccine

Stories You'll Enjoy