The Lembaga Tabung Haji logo is seen on a bank book in this photo taken in Kuala Lumpur August 4, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Even though there is about a 9 per cent increase in the overall cost of performing the Haj this year, the amount to be borne by the pilgrims has yet to be decided, said Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) Haj executive director Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.
He attributed the rise to the Saudi Arabian government’s decision to increase the value-added tax (VAT) from five per cent to 15 per cent in July 2020.
“The overall cost of the Haj (not to be borne by the pilgrims) for this year is RM25,000 per person, but this does not take into account the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) (that has not been announced that may impact the cost.
“Once the (decision) on the implementation of this year’s Haj is made by Saudi Arabia, we will announce the amount to be borne by the pilgrims,” he told a press conference on the pre-operation of the Haj pilgrimage for the 1442H/2021M season, here today.
The overall cost of performing the Haj for every pilgrim in 2019 and 2020 was RM22,900.
Syed Saleh who is also head of Malaysian Haj Delegation also urged those who have received their haj offer letters last year to register for the Covid-19 vaccine to enable them to be in the vaccine recipient waiting list.
“We will discuss with the Ministry of Health (MoH) on the existing (Covid-19) immunisation plan, taking into account the needs of prospective pilgrims as the Haj season is near.
“It is up to the MoH to determine the schedule (for the vaccination),” he said.
The Saudi Arabia government has made Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for Haj pilgrims this year.
Syed Saleh also reminded the pilgrims to always be prepared and make the necessary preparations including taking the compulsory meningococcal vaccination.
Meanwhile, he said pilgrims selected to perform the Haj last year would be given priority to do so this year.
Syed Saleh said TH had made preliminary preparations including in terms of accommodation, transportation and flights, to ensure the smooth running of the pilgrimage this year.
“TH is still waiting for the official announcement from the Saudi Arabian government matters related to Haj and the number of pilgrims allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year.
“Prospective pilgrims are advised to be prepared for any possible change and new regulations introduced by TH and Saudi Arabia as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. — Bernama
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