Malaysia Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas will depart for Saudi Arabia on January 6, 2024, to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the authority of Saudi Arabia regarding implementation of the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage.
“Inshallah (God willing), on January 6, I will depart for Saudi Arabia to sign an MoU on Hajj with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Qoumas remarked here on Wednesday.
The MoU will be related to various matters on the Hajj pilgrimage, such as the Hajj quota, accommodation, transportation, consumption, and services in Arafat, Muzdalifah, and Mina.
The minister noted that with the MoU in place, all preparations for the Hajj pilgrimage could be started.
According to Qoumas, the preparation process for Hajj continues to be accelerated. The ministry is currently awaiting the issuance of a Presidential Decree regarding the Cost of Organizing Hajj (BPIH) for 2024.
The decree will regulate the Hajj Travel Cost (Bipih) that should be paid by prospective Hajj pilgrims based on the embarkation points.
Although still awaiting the Presidential Decree, the Ministry of Religious Affairs announced that Bipih payments for prospective pilgrims in the regular Hajj pilgrimage category will open, starting on January 9, 2024.
The government and the House of Representatives (DPR) earlier agreed to set the BPIH at an average of Rp93.4 million (around US$6,033). Meanwhile, the Bipih that must be paid by each pilgrim is set at Rp56.04 million (around US$3,619).
The minister explained that the payment for this year’s Hajj could be done in installments. This policy was taken to reduce the burden on prospective pilgrims.
However, he said that although the payment period has not yet been opened, prospective Hajj participants can start saving their money in their respective bank accounts, so that the funds will be ready later.