Malaysians going for the haj this year would be required to use an international passport, said minister in the Prime Minister’s department Mej-Jen (R) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom.
He said the passport issued by the Lembaga Tabung Haji would no longer be valid as the Saudi Government had come up with new regulations.
“Pilgrims would also need to apply for a visa. The new regulations would ensure smoother procedures and it would also make it faster for Malaysians to clear immigration as the passports need not be stamped,” he said after launching the third International Conference on Muslim Tourism, Hajj and Umrah 2009 on Thursday.
The conference, themed “Moving Towards Borderless Muslim Tourism,” at the Putra World Tade Centre drew more than 140 local and international delegates.
Jamil Khir said they were also awaiting details from the Saudi Government to determine whether the cost of performing the haj would increase this year.
“Saudi Arabia is upgrading its facilities in Mecca. They are building new buildings and the mosque courtyard is being enlarged.
“There are also new regulations by the Saudi Government on accommodation for pilgrims. Let’s wait for developments,” he said.
Source : Star
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