Govt clarifies residential zones to determine hajj pilgrims' flights

Govt clarifies residential zones to determine  hajj pilgrims' flights

Indonesian hajj pilgrims (Antaranews)

Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - This year's flight groups of Indonesian hajj pilgrims, including those in South Sumatra Province, will be segregated on the basis of their residential zones, South Sumatra Religious Affairs Office's spokesman Saefudin Latief stated here, Thursday.

Speaking in connection with the South Sumatra provincial government's readiness for the 2019 hajj season, Latief informed journalists that the aircraft capacities and accommodation facilities will also aid in deciding on the flight groups of hajj pilgrims.  

Latief explained that a decision will be taken on the number of flight groups in line with the total number of hajj pilgrims scheduled to depart for the holy city of Mecca this year, adding that South Sumatra's hajj pilgrim quota for this year reaches 6,988.

Palembang will also serve as an embarkation point for Bangka Belitung Province's hajj pilgrims, who will undergo biometric identification in the city, he revealed.

On Apr 14, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had held a meeting with King Salman bin Abdulazis al-Saud during which he lauded the 10 thousand additional hajj pilgrimage quota set aside for Indonesia.

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin recently confirmed to soon hold a meeting with the House of Representatives' (DPR's) Commission VIII to discuss about this additional hajj quota.

"The Religious Affairs Ministry will try every possible course of action to ascertain the realization of (the additional quota) this year. However, the government will be unable to attain this on its own without the consent of the House of Representatives' (DPR's) Commission VIII," he affirmed.

Saifuddin admitted to have personally communicated with leaders of the House's Commission VIII on Monday.

"With their recess ongoing, the government and BPKH (the Hajj Finance Management Board) will shortly organize a working meeting with them for discussing the impacts and outcomes of allocating an additional hajj quota of 10 thousand. We are optimistic that our House of Representatives will give its stamp of approval to the additional hajj quota," he added.

He is optimistic that the additional hajj quota of 10 thousand would be realized in 2019 and expects to meet with the DPR next week.