Mecca Route programme expanded to six other countries, says minister

SEPANG: The success of the "Mecca Route" - a pilot programme initiated by the Saudi Arabian government in Malaysia in 2017 - has allowed it to be expanded to six other countries, says Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) said the programme, aimed at simplifying and speeding up the journey of the pilgrims, is also being implemented in Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast and Turkiye.

When inspecting the "Mecca Route" counter at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today (June 1), Mohd Na'im said that through the programme, the Saudi immigration staff at KLIA will check the passports of pilgrims without having to wait for the immigration process and Customs upon arrival.

"In the past, prospective pilgrims had to wait four to five hours at immigration, but with the Mecca Route, a total of about 55 Saudi government officials have been stationed here for a month to facilitate the journey of prospective pilgrims.

"After passing through Malaysian Immigration, they continue to move here (Mecca Route counter), and continue to register with their passports; in less than a minute, and it's done," he said.

Mohd Na'im also thanked the government of Saudi Arabia and King Salman Abdul Aziz Al-Saud for continuing the Mecca Route programme in Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Malaysia, Mesaad Ibrahim Abdullah Al Sulaim, thanked the Malaysian government for its cooperation in making the programme a success.

"With this solid cooperation, the Mecca Route programme will be facilitated for the convenience and welfare of prospective pilgrims," he said. - Bernama

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Mecca Route , KLIA , pilgrims , Mohd Na'im


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