Haj staff sent to Holy Land halved this year

Monday, May 30, 2022

SEPANG: The number of Haj staff who will be managing Malaysian pilgrims in the Holy Land has been reduced to almost half compared to previous years.

Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) executive director Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman said prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were about 650 staff who will depart from Malaysia to offer services to local pilgrims.

However, it has been reduced to around 340 staff this year from various sectors and departments.

"But it will not affect the Haj operations (in Holy Land) as we made proper plans for it.

"The health status of the staff is not the only criteria in choosing them this year, but also experience and knowledge too.

"They are able to work in Makkah and even Madinah, able to multitask and be flexible in their duties," he told a press conference after sending off the second group of Haj staff at Hotel Movenpick and Convention Centre here today.

A total 84 Haj staff departed today in preparations of the 1443H/2022M pilgrimage season.

Earlier this month, 13 others already departed and arrived there to begin their duties.

Syed Saleh said that larger groups will depart on June 2 and 5 while some others will be accompanying the pilgrims as they begin their journey from Malaysia.

"Majority of the 84 staff departing today will be on duty in Madinah.

"It is going to be a challenging year for us as there could be changes and introductions of new rules by the Saudi government due to the Covid-19 situation," he added.

Saudi Arabia announced that it will permit a million Muslims from inside and outside the country to participate in this year's Haj.

Malaysia's haj quota this year is 14,306 pilgrims - 45 per cent of the previous annual quota of 31,600 before the pandemic struck.


Source: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2022/05/800726/haj-staff-sent-holy-land-halved-year