The Saudi authority is now enforcing strict regulation (for Hajj pilgrims)
Mekkah (ANTARA) - Consul General of Indonesia in Jeddah Eko Hartono appealed to Indonesian Hajj pilgrims to observe local regulations in Saudi Arabia while performing their Hajj rituals to avoid any inconvenience with local authorities.

While welcoming the arrival of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims from the Surakarta embarkation point in Mecca on Sunday evening, the consul general stated that the Saudi authority had enforced strict regulations during the Hajj rituals.

"The Saudi authority is now enforcing strict regulation (for Hajj pilgrims). Those deported (by the Saudi authority) could not return to Saudi Arabia. The entry ban is now 10 years (before a sanctioned individual can return to Saudi Arabia), while earlier, it was five years," Hartono stated.

He then urged Indonesian Hajj pilgrims to focus on their Hajj rituals by observing every regulation enacted by the Saudi authority, as pilgrims found violating local regulations can be sanctioned by the local authority.

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Apart from the time that could be spent to perform Hajj rituals being wasted, violating local regulations can lead to deportation if the violation is proven to disrupt public order, he emphasized.

The consul general also advised Indonesian Hajj pilgrims against taking group photographs with community banners in front of the Kaaba in the Masjid al-Haram, Mecca.

He drew attention to the fact that security officers in the Masjid al-Haram had reprimanded groups of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims, who had attempted to take a group photo with community banners in front of the structure that Muslims believed as the holiest.

"Hajj pilgrims are still permitted if they want to take selfies," he stated.

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Meanwhile, the Religious Affairs Ministry urged Indonesian Hajj pilgrims to also comply with baggage requirements to prevent inconvenience during their departure to Saudi Arabia.

"In the last four days, some pilgrims were found to be bringing an excessive amount of cigarettes, which they must unpack at the airport. Departing pilgrims must be attentive to this issue to prevent inconvenience if they are required to unpack their luggage," Religious Affairs Minister's special staff for media and public communication, Wibowo Prasetyo, stated while presenting his press statement on Wednesday (Jun 8).

The ministry's Directorate General of Hajj Organisation has issued a circular on the baggage policy that informed pilgrims about the maximum luggage weight, permissible luggage, and prohibited items in the luggage, he remarked.

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Translator: Desi Purnamawati, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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