Jakarta, NU Online
Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said on Tuesday that Indonesia has not been granted an additional hajj quota for this year's pilgrimage season, although his office is still trying to procure an additional quota for 10,000 persons.
"I have not received the additional hajj pilgrimage quota yet," the minister said after inaugurating a boarding house allotted to prospective hajj pilgrims for the 1433 Hegira or 2012's hajj pilgrimage season.
However, Anggito Abimanyu, the Director of Hajj and Minor Hajj Affairs at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, said on a separate occasion that his office was yet to receive any letter demanding an additional hajj quota for Indonesia.
The Indonesian government is still hoping that the government of Saudi Arabia will accede to its request for an additional 10,000 passes for the pilgrimage this year, as it is similar to the additional quota granted by the Saudi government in 2011.
As reported by Antara, Abimanyu had earlier stated that it was important for Indonesia to get an additional quota for 10,000 pilgrims.
Minister Ali said that the government is doing its utmost to get the supplementary passes, which will be given to provinces with long hajj waiting lists and priority will also be given to elderly prospective pilgrims.
He had also announced earlier this month that the ministry plans to set up an Indonesian hajj call center for providing better services to pilgrims.
"The center was launched recently at the Citywalk Sudirman building, in cooperation with Indonesian telecom operator PT Telkom Indonesia," Ahmad Baedowi, a spokesman for the Religious Affairs Ministry for Hajj Affairs, said on Thursday.
"The importance of information in today's global environment has become paramount. Therefore, latest information from various fields must be provided, including information on the hajj pilgrimage in Indonesia," he added.
Initially, the call center will only provide basic information related to pilgrim quota, passport issuance and flight information.
"Members of the public can also get information related to eparture schedules chalked out for regular and special hajj pilgrims, as well as the expenses involved in making the pilgrimage," Baedowi noted.
Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country and sends more than 220,000 hajj pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every year.
Editor : Sudarto Murtaufiq
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