The statement said the Saudi government had restored the quota after the Haj quota for foreign pilgrims was reduced in 2013.
It said Saudi Arabia’s Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh Bentan said this to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom in an annual Haj meeting in Jeddah last Wednesday.
“On behalf of the Malaysian Government, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department thanked the Saudi Arabian government for reinstating the haj quota which is very much welcomed by all Muslims,” it said.
The statement added that the cost for performing the Haj this year had increased to RM19,550 compared to RM18,890 last year.
“Although the cost had been increasing every year, TH had maintained the pilgrimage cost for each Muasassah pilgrim at RM9,980 since 2009.
The Haj subsidy borne by TH for the haj season this year is expected to be RM200 million,” the statement said.
TH was also informed by the Saudi government that the expansion project around the Grand Mosque was close to completion.
“This effort is to ensure that pilgrims from around the world can perform their pilgrimage comfortably and safely amid the increasing number of pilgrims every year,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, TH said the Malaysian and Saudi governments would sit down together annually to discuss ways to improve pilgrimage management.
Another matter often discussed was the provision of additional quota to help shorten the Haj pilgrimage rotation period. — Bernama