Saudi Arabia Reverts To 400 Haj Pilgrims Quota For Brunei
Posted on September 16, 2012, Sunday
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have expressed regret that they are unable to approve Brunei Darussalam’s request to secure more quotas for intending Haj pilgrims for 2012 corresponding to the Islamic year 1433 Hijrah, Borneo Bulletin reported.
The Minister of Religious Affairs, Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abdul Rahman, yesterday said that the Sultanate will only be allowed to send 400 pilgrims (or 0.1 per cent of the country’s total population) this year, as the Government of Saudi Arabia through its Haj Ministry has ordered every country, including Brunei, to adhere to their official quotas.
Such a system had been in place since 2002, where the Sultanate had been allocated an official quota of 400 pilgrims. However, through annual while, giving the Sultanate a total quota of 1,400 for each Haj season.
According to the Haj Ministry of Saudi Arabia, the move to cap the number of quotas for Haj pilgrims from countries around the world was due to the increasing number of Muslim population and haj pilgrims from Muslim countries. Furthermore, the Haj Ministry has received many applications for additional quotas that has put a strain on facilities and places of worships in the Holy Land, especially in Masyair Mina.
Saudi Arabia is also implementing a number of projects at Masjidil Haram and Masjid Nabawi, as well as in Masyair Mina, to enhance the capacity consultations with Saudi Arabia, Brunei has been allowed to apply for 1,000 more quotas all this to accommodate the growing number of Haj pilgrims.
In view of the unexpected announcement of the cut in Haj quotas for Brunei, relevant agencies are taking steps to send an appeal application to the Government of Saudi Arabia to ask for special consideration for Brunei.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs hoped that intending Haj pilgrims from Brunei would be understanding if they learn that they did not make the cut to be part of the 400 selected people.
Those whose names are not listed in this year’s lit should remain patient and pray for that they would be able to perform the Haj in future.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs said it respects the Government of Saudi Arabia’s decision. It is hoped that efforts to add more quotas for Brunei in the future would come into fruition once projects implemented by the Government of Saudi Arabia to enhance the capacity to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims have been completed.
Selection Process For Intending Haj Pilgrims
Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs has decided that the selection process for intending Haj pilgrims would be based on the following:
(1) Those who have never performed the Haj;
(2) Priorities in accordance to age groups such as 60 years old and above, 59 to 50 years old, 49 to 40 years old, 39 to 30 years old and 15 to 29 years old (those aged 15 years and below will not be given priority);
(3) Haj pilgrims who suffer from weaknesses and need a companion (These individuals will have to forward their application to the Haj Affairs Department for consideration); and
(4) According to the registration sequence.
Should any problem arise from the implementation of the criteria mentioned above then Syarak law will be referred to.