JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has requested a Saudi Arabia official to increase Indonesia’s hajj quota due to the long wait times to make the pilgrimage to the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
The request was brought up during a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah at the Vice Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday, Oct. 26.
“We have a huge number of hajj pilgrims and some of them wait for up to 41 years. We will be glad if our hajj quota will be increased,” said Ma’ruf.
The Vice President expressed hope that Saudi Arabia will remove the age limit for pilgrims. This is because many hajj candidates from Indonesia have waited for a long time due to a quota system and by the time they got to perform the hajj pilgrimage, they are already at an advanced age.
“When it’s their turn to perform hajj, they can’t go due to the age limit following the long wait times,” said Ma’ruf.
Besides, Ma'ruf also requested for moving the tents of the Indonesian pilgrims in Mina closer to the site of the jumrah stone-throwing ritual.
One of the reasons is that many Indonesian pilgrims are elderly, so they are not physically strong as relatively younger pilgrims from other countries.
In his response, Tawfiq said that he will follow up immediately. He said the kingdom continues to provide the best service to the Indonesian pilgrims because of its huge number and close ties between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
“The Saudi Arabia kingdom is focused on providing the best service for pilgrims, especially from Indonesia and the relations between both countries are very strong,” he said.
(Writer: Ardito Ramadhan | Editor: Dani Prabowo)
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