July 15, 2022, 07.49 PM

MECCA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Tawfiq F Al Rabiah agreed to form a joint team to prepare for the Hajj pilgrimage in 2023, corresponding to 1444 Hijrah.

“We agreed to form a task force to discuss preparations for next year’s Hajj,” Yaqut said after seeing off the return of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, July 15.

He also submitted several improvement notes for better services in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

“The task force will discuss together to anticipate problems that could riddle Hajj pilgrims,” State News Antara quoted Yaqut.

Also read: Saudi Arabia Limits Hajj to 60,000 Vaccinated Residents in Kingdom

The Religious Affairs Ministry observed that several officers still lacked discipline. Yaqut admitted that the process to discipline over two thousand was a challenging job.

“In the future, all those involved in the assignment of Hajj services must be disciplined. All must be truly intended to serve pilgrims, and the bonus is to participate in the pilgrimage. Do not reverse it,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking in connection with Saudi Arabia’s service, Yaqut highlighted two areas that necessitated attention, including increasing the number of women’s toilets. He said that most Indonesian pilgrims were women.

“Women’s toilets in Arafah, Muzdalif, and Mina needed to be added,” he said.

The second point is the service at Masyair that should be advanced since the government of Saudi Arabia had increased the service price.

He vowed to discuss this matter later with the Government of Saudi Arabia. Before the formal meeting, Yaqut had spoken about this matter during an informal meeting with the Minister of Umrah and Hajj of Saudi Arabia.

“From what we had experienced, I think the service at Masyair was still lacking and could be better,” he added.

He also expressed gratitude to the Government of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, and Prince Muhammad bin Salman. He believes that the Saudi Government has worked hard to provide services to pilgrims around the world, so any lack in services was still reasonable, he said.

Sources: State News Antara

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