MECCA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin performed the umrah on Saturday. He was given the opportunity to enter the Kaabah.
His wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman also performed the umrah. The couple completed the ritual in the morning.
Muhyiddin, who is on a four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), performed the umrah at the invitation of the Saudi Arabian King and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
Muhyiddin’s official visit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and exploring new cooperation with both countries.
This marks his first official visit to either country since he took office on March 1 last year.
He will be in Saudi Arabia for three days, followed by his visit to UAE tomorrow.
Muhyiddin will be accompanied by a small delegation comprising Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry.
In a statement, Wisma Putra said the visit would be subjected to strict Covid-19 preventive standard operating procedure as agreed upon by the Health Ministry, the National Security Council, as well as the Health Ministry of Saudi Arabia and the Health and Prevention Ministry of the UAE.
It was reported that the SOP required the Malaysian delegation to provide negative PCR test results 120 hours (five days) and 24 hours before the official meetings in Saudi Arabia and they had to travel via a special aircraft.
The delegation is also required to provide negative PCR test results 48 hours prior to their arrival in the UAE and to undergo another swab test and be under quarantine pending their test results.
Wisma Putra said the visit to Saudi Arabia would see efforts to elevate their partnership to a more strategic level, including strengthening collaboration and responses in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Foreign Ministry said markets for palm oil exports to Saudi Arabia and to the Middle East and African regions would be explored.
Other areas expected to be discussed include cooperation in matters pertaining to the haj and umrah, with the formalisation of the “Mecca Road Service” initiative that will ease the process for Malaysian pilgrims. — Bernama