If possible, do not only provide wheelchairs but also golf carts
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas has sought detailed and careful preparations for the 2023 Hajj, saying they are essential for the successful implementation of the pilgrimage.

"Hajj pilgrimage implementation is one of the core services of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, even though there are many other services, such as education and other religion (-related services)," he said here on Thursday.

The minister highlighted several points related to Hajj services for older adults, especially the purchase of wheelchairs. The procurement of wheelchairs must be proportional to the number of elderly pilgrims, whose number has reached 62 thousand for this year's pilgrimage, he stated.

Apart from the availability of wheelchairs, he asked Hajj officers to be swift in serving pilgrims, especially elderly pilgrims.

"If possible, do not only provide wheelchairs but also golf carts; they will be very helpful for the pilgrims," he said.

In addition, the minister requested that the officers' ID cards be made more visible and eye-catching to make it easier for pilgrims, especially elderly pilgrims, to identify them when they need help.

According to the minister, there are still many things that must be prepared in detail.

Those details must be discussed at the national working meeting of the ministry's Directorate General of Hajj and Umrah Implementation, which is currently underway.

He noted that paying attention to small details during the preparations would make the implementation of the Hajj pilgrimage successful.

"Hopefully, last year's success will offer a push and spirit to at least match (the success in) last year, or (make Hajj implementation) even more (successful),” he said.

Earlier, Minister Qoumas and Hajj and Umrah Minister of Saudi Arabia, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, inked an agreement on Indonesia's 2023 Hajj quota in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on January 8, 2023.

In a press release issued the same day, Qoumas said that a Hajj quota of 203,320 pilgrims has been allotted for regular Hajj pilgrims and 17,680 for special Hajj pilgrims this year. Thus, the total quota for Indonesian pilgrims this year is 221 thousand.

"Meanwhile, for officers, this year, we received a quota of 4,200 (people)," he added.

He said that during the meeting with Minister Al-Rabiah, it was agreed that no age limit would be imposed for Hajj pilgrims this year.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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