"This is a final one."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The management of the hajj pilgrimage will remain in the hands of the government, because the president has not issued any directive to transfer it to the private sector so far, a senior official said.

"The government has no intention so far to let the private sector manage the hajj pilgrimage," stated Bahrul Hayat, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, here on Wednesday.

He declared this to the heads of the regional religious affairs services, who were holding a technical meeting on the organisation of the hajj pilgrimage in the country.

The technical meeting - which was held from May 15 to May 17, 2012 - evaluated the implementation of the 2011 hajj pilgrimage programmes and discussed preparations for the 2012 hajj pilgrimage.

On this occasion, Bahrul Hayat raised the crucial issue of the difference of opinions regarding which party was the most competent to organise the hajj pilgrimage programmes in the country.

He said that the organiser of the hajj pilgrimage - namely, the government - had never changed so far. In fact, the president has yet to show any indication of wishing to change the organiser of hajj programmes.

This is in line with Law No. 13/2008 on the Implementation of Hajj Pilgrimage Programmes, which stipulates that the government organise the hajj pilgrimage programmes. "This is a final one," he remarked.

Based on these regulations, the hajj pilgrimage will be implemented in the field by the Directorate General for Hajj Pilgrimage and Minor Hajj Pilgrimage Affairs.

The secretary general observed that an exception could be made if the law were revised.

He pointed out, however, that the regulation functions were in the hands of the government. The government was responsible for regulating the public based on the law.

He added that hajj matters involved many stakeholders, including the hajj pilgrims, whose numbers reach 221,000 people every year.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2012