TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, Essam Bin Ahmed Bin Abid Althaqafi, denied the statement conveyed by the House of Representatives (DPR) Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad that Indonesia did not receive a hajj quota this year.
“The information is not true and was not issued by the official authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The authorities have not yet issued any instructions regarding the implementation of hajj this year, either for pilgrims from Indonesia or other countries,” said Essam in a letter to the DPR Speaker Puan Maharani on Thursday, June 3.
Essam said he would first communicate with the embassy or other official authorities, both in Saudi and Indonesia regarding the hajj policy.
The Indonesian government on Thursday decided to again cancel this year’s hajj. “We decided to cancel the departure of Indonesian pilgrims in the 2021 hajj through Indonesia’s hajj quota or others,” said the Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas in a press conference in Jakarta.
The decision was stipulated in the Ministerial Decree No. 660 of 2021. This year’s hajj cancellation was said for the safety of the pilgrims and amid concerns over Covid-19 transmission.
Yaqut also said that the Saudi Arabia government has not yet invited Indonesia for talks and signing of the memorandum of understanding about the hajj implementation in 2021, while the ministry's hajj mitigation team stated that the preparation period for hajj has passed its deadline.
“It’s not just Indonesia. No countries have received quotas, because the memorandum of understanding has not been signed,” Yaqut said.