31 May 2023
Malaysia has expressed appreciation to the Saudi Arabian government for allowing the country to continue the Makkah Route which started as a pilot programme in 2017, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
Zambry said Malaysia was the only country selected by the Saudi Arabian government for the implementation of the pilot programme six years ago which was then followed by the participation of Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco and Bangladesh in the following year.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government of Saudi Arabia for trusting Malaysia.
“This is one of the best services and I must extend our deepest appreciation to Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that Malaysia was looking forward to cooperating with Saudi Arabia in other areas.
He said this at a media conference after inspecting the special immigration counters for the Makkah Route programme at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here, yesterday.
Zambry said the Makkah Route was a special programme that speeds up the documentation process for prospective Malaysian pilgrims, adding it was a creative approach implemented by the government of Saudi Arabia.
“Not all countries get a privilege like this,” he said.
Through the programme, the Saudi Arabian immigration staff manning the counters at KLIA will check the pilgrims’ passports and when they arrive at Madinah or Jeddah airports, they will no longer have to wait to undergo the immigration and customs process in the country.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Malaysia, Mesaad Ibrahim Abdullah Al Sulaim, wished Malaysian pilgrims performing the Haj this year, a mabrur Haj (accepted by ALLAH S.W.T).
“We are happy to facilitate Malaysian pilgrims and Alhamdulillah, InsyaAllah they will get Haj mabrur,” he said.
At the departure ceremony of the first batch of 284 haj pilgrims on May 20, Tabung Haji (TH) group managing director and chief executive officer, Syed Hamadah Syed Othman said a total of 31,600 pilgrims, who are the country’s official full quota, will depart for the Holy Land to fulfil the fifth pillar of Islam.
The first flight was on May 21 while the last return flight will be on Aug 1. – Bernama
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