Hajj: Govt to prioritize elderly if no age limit next year

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chairman of Commission VIII of the House of Representatives (DPR RI), Yandri Susanto, has emphasized that the government will prioritize the elderly for Hajj next year if Saudi Arabia places no age restrictions.

" Insyaa Allah (God's willing), if there is no age restriction, DPR and the government agree to prioritize the elderly to depart for Hajj next year," Susanto remarked during a working meeting with the Minister of Religious Affairs  Yaqut Cholil Qoumas here on Thursday.

For this year’s Hajj, the Saudi Arabian government announced an age limit of 65 years for pilgrims. Indonesia’s quota was one-tenth of the total Hajj candidates in 2022, that is, 100,051. The quota comprised 92,825 regular Hajj and 7,226 special Hajj spots.

Susanto said the decision to impose an age limit was taken by Saudi Arabia while the Indonesian government only complied with applicable regulations. But in society, there are still misconceptions about the age limit, he noted.

"I went to an event yesterday and someone said to me that the minister had limited the age to 65 years old for Hajj pilgrims. His mother had to wait for decades and had completed the payment but he said because of Minister Qoumas, his mother failed to leave," he recalled.

Therefore, he urged the Ministry of Religious Affairs to be more active in socializing the Hajj requirements to the public.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs must also improve communication to avoid misunderstandings. The Saudi Arabian government is still imposing age restrictions for Hajj pilgrims due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy has not come from the Indonesian government, Susanto emphasized.

"There is still missing information and it is spreading in the public. Therefore, field socialization and education regarding Hajj implementation needs to be improved," he added.


Source: https://en.antaranews.com/news/232221/hajj-govt-to-prioritize-elderly-if-no-age-limit-next-year