Their Majesties receive greetings from pilgrims
Azlan Othman

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha received greetings from an additional 80 Haj pilgrims, who will perform the Islamic obligation this year, at the Istana Nurul Iman yesterday.

His Majesty received the intending male Haj pilgrims while Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness received the intending female Haj pilgrims. The intending Haj pilgrims departed in two flights with the first flight leaving last night for Jeddah at 7.45pm and the second flight leaving today also at 7.45pm.

Accompanying Her Majesty to receive the intending female pilgrims was Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to exempt Brunei Darussalam from the 20 per cent cut in the quota for 2013 Haj pilgrims imposed on all countries this Haj season. Due to this exemption, two more Haj flights have been arranged and 80 more pilgrims leave Brunei for the Holy Land.

Saudi Arabia is expanding the two holy mosques in Makkah Al-Mukkaramah and Madinah Al-Munawarrah to accommodate more Haj and Umrah pilgrims. Saudi Arabia this year instructed all countries to send 20 per cent fewer pilgrims in view of the expansion work.

The Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pengiran Hj Abdul Rahman, in a press conference last Saturday revealed that Brunei Darussalam has made a request to the Government of Saudi Arabia to not impose the 20 per cent reduction in Brunei’s official Haj pilgrims quota of 400 pilgrims this year.

He said that the Saudi Arabian Government had decided to exempt Brunei Darussalam from the 20 per cent quota cut. Following the Saudi decision, he said Brunei can now use the full quota of - Borneo Bulletin (1 October 2013)