Haj financial aid tailored to help people in need

THE targeted financial assistance to perform the haj was introduced to ensure that the aid can be enjoyed by the right individuals based on their income bracket, says the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs).

Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said the targeted assistance would also be able to help Malaysia’s haj operator, Tabung Haji (TH), cover the operational costs while ensuring its financial sustainability.

“TH has introduced Haj Financial Support (Hafis) since 2001, which was fully funded by its investment income. Until 2022, a total of RM2.2bil has been used for the purpose of financial support.

“While the assistance will be continued, TH would still encourage future pilgrims from the B40 and M40 groups to voluntarily pay the extra cost.”

“A forecast showed that by 2024, the cost of Hafis would reach around RM500mil if there was no review done on the overall cost,” he said.

“The targeted assistance was also to ensure that the right individuals from the income bracket can enjoy the aid,” Mohd Na’im told Datuk Ahmad Saad @ Yahaya (PN-Pokok Sena).

Ahmad Saad had asked the minister to state the reasons why the government decided to set the cost for the haj pilgrimage based on income categories.

Mohd Na’im also said that TH would work with other government agencies, such as the Inland Revenue Board, to cross-check the pilgrims’ data.

The cost of performing the haj this year had increased by 8%, from RM28,632 to RM30,850, he said.

On March 18, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the government would bear the RM1,000 increase in the cost of performing the haj for each B40 pilgrim this year.

As for the M40 group, Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said the cost had increased by RM3,000. He said those from the T20 group planning to perform the haj would have to bear the total cost.

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