Haj offer letter out in stages from Tuesday

Last update: 25/01/2020

By Yasmin Ahmad Zukiman

????KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 -- Tabung Haji (TH) will send out haj offer letters to 31,600 pilgrims for the 1441H/2020M haj season in stages beginning Tuesday (Jan 28).

TH Haj Senior General Manager Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman said TH will begin inserting the names of selected pilgrims in its system from midnight tonight to enable the issuance of the offer letter.

“Once the letter is issued, the recipient will have 30 days to reply whether or not to receive the offer, and after the deadline, we will know how many of them rejected the offer or chose to postpone their pilgrimage. We will also know the number of vacant spots available.”

Syed Saleh, who is also Head of Malaysian Haj Delegation, said this when appearing as the guest speaker on Bernama Radio’s Malam Ini talk show and Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme which discussed on the current challenges in haj management, tonight.

Elaborating, he said the vacant spots would be filled by TH depositors who have registered and appealed to perform the fifth pillar of Islam this year, with selection to be made based on some merit, including age and mahram for women.

“For example, if a woman is selected, but her husband is not, then the husband can appeal to go with the wife and vice versa. This situation will be given priority. Ageing pilgrims can also appeal for us to consider giving them the available spots.

“Appeal will also be opened to those who had once rejected the offer on valid reasons such as financial constraint or health issues. Priority will be given to those who want to perform the pilgrimage for the first time,” he said.

Syed Saleh said starting this year, TH will also introduce a haj appeal form on its website and at any of its offices to be filled by those who wanted to appeal. 

He said this was because TH had received 100,000 appeal letters since the end of last year’s haj season, adding that those who had sent the appeal letter were also required to fill in the haj appeal form.

More pilgrims from Malaysia will be performing their haj pilgrimage this year following the increase in the official haj quota for Malaysian pilgrims to 31,600 from 30,200 last year.

The increase of 1,400 pilgrims in the quota was a result of the discussions between the governments of Malaysia, through Tabung Haji (TH), and Saudi Arabia, to reflect the increase in Malaysia’s population.

On TH preparations to ensure the safety of haj pilgrims in view of the current spread of infections and viruses, Syed Saleh said the institution is complying with advice and regulations from the Saudi Ministry of Health and also the Malaysian Ministry of Health.

The experience in dealing with the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Influenza A (H1N1) before has also made TH more capable of dealing with any possible situation, he said.

Nevertheless, he said pilgrims will be advised to take additional vaccines if necessary.