Hence, we ask you to please maintain the good image of Indonesia.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Religious Affairs Ministry dispatched the first group of Hajj officers (PPIH), comprising 489 people, to Saudi Arabia to make early preparations for welcoming the first flight group of Indonesian pilgrims.

The officers were dispatched at the Pondok Gede Hajj Dormitory, Jakarta, before leaving for Saudi Arabia on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, the pilgrims will start departing for Saudi Arabia on May 24, 2023.

"Perform your tasks as well as possible, follow the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), and obey the directives from your coordinators," Hajj and Umrah Director General of the ministry Hilman Latief emphasized here on Saturday.

Some 100 officers of the first PPIH group will be deployed at the airport working area, 248 officers at the Medina working area, and 12 officers at the Jeddah Hajj Affairs Office (KUH).

Furthermore, the remaining dispatched PPIH would serve as medical officers.

The director general expects that the deployment of PPIH will support the smooth implementation of Hajj services.

"All of you are Hajj officers representing (the Government of) Indonesia. Hence, we ask you to please maintain the good image of Indonesia," he remarked.

He said that during the 1444 Hijri/2023 hajj pilgrimage season his side will send a total of four thousand officers, who were recruited from various governmental and civil institutions.

Latief is upbeat that the PPIH would provide optimal service, especially for the elderly, considering the number of pilgrims of that age group reached around 64 thousand.

"Good luck on carrying out your duties. Remember that our tagline this year (in 2023) is 'Elderly Friendly Hajj'. Thus, please provide the best service to Indonesian pilgrims," he stressed.

Meanwhile, deputy chairperson of Commission VIII of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Ace Hasan Syadzily urged the Hajj officers to maintain their spirit and motivation in serving the pilgrims well.

Initially, Saudi Arabia allocated a Hajj quota of 221 thousand for Indonesia. Later, it was announced that Indonesia obtained an additional quota of eight thousand.

The pilgrims would start returning to Indonesia on July 4, 2023.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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