PETALING JAYA: The government will not allow Malaysians to go on their umrah pilgrimage for now, despite Saudi Arabia’s decision to reopen its borders to foreign pilgrims.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said this in a Facebook post this evening, after the daily National Security Council (MKN) meeting held earlier today.
“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri explained that the Saudi government has given permission for umrah pilgrimage for up to 10 days.
“However, the government is taking the health ministry’s advice and will not send any pilgrims for the time being,” he said.
Earlier today, Zulkifli and Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said they were working to ensure Muslims in the country could travel for the umrah pilgrimage and would consult the MKN and health ministry on the matter.
Saudi Arabia recently announced it was reopening the holy places for the year-round umrah pilgrimage, seven months after the Covid-19 pandemic prompted its suspension.
The umrah attracts millions of Muslims from across the globe every year but the pandemic forced the Saudis to close their borders for most of this year.
Muhyiddin also expressed concern over the rise in Covid-19 cases in the peninsula recently, which has caused some green zones turning into yellow or red zones.
“I am of the view that there is a need for the recovery movement control order (RMCO) to be reviewed in areas facing an outbreak of Covid-19, especially in states like Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor and Perak,” he said.