TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Minister of Religious Affairs Fachrul Razi said the Indonesian government would lobby Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry for an additional quota of regular hajj pilgrimage next year.
“In 1440 Hijri or 2019, [we are] able to have 10,000 more hajj pilgrimage, but it was not an additional quota but was given after the calculation on many countries that did not meet their hajj quota,” said Fachrul in a Webinar Inspirato on Tuesday, June 9.
Currently, the Saudi Arabia government grants 221,000 pilgrims quota for Indonesia. Fachrul expected there could be 10,000 additional quotas for next year’s hajj season.
“We will lobby [Saudi] the best we can. They acknowledge that Indonesia has a large number of pilgrims so they will be concerned about Indonesia’s wishes,” the minister said, adding that if the negotiation succeeds, the number of pilgrims who are in line to depart for hajj will decrease.
As widely reported, the Indonesian government decided to cancel this year’s hajj departure since the Saudi Arabia government did not make an announcement related to hajj amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and concerns over the widespread virus transmission.
Besides Indonesia, Singapore and India canceled their participation in 2020 hajj, while Pakistan still held hopes of being able to send at least 20 percent of its total pilgrims.