Government to evaluate Hajj implementation despite improvements

BATAMCLICK.COM : Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas confirmed that despite achieving some feats in the implementation of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, the Indonesian government will evaluate it to provide better services.

“To me, this year’s pilgrimage went better than that in the previous year. Thank God, everything went smoothly. However, it is always natural for us, humans, to make mistakes. Hence, we will conduct an evaluation,” he said at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

Qoumas informed that the result of the evaluation will be made public after the end of the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage operation.

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“The Hajj operation is still on until July 23 (2024). For that reason, I cannot divulge anything about the evaluation yet,” he said.

The minister added that he is against using the lower number of pilgrim deaths as a measure of the success of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

“I am never in favor of using numbers to talk about the deceased pilgrims because they were living humans that must be respected. It is true that the pilgrim death count declined, but we should not spotlight the number,” he expounded.

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In this regard, he emphasized that maintaining the health of pilgrims is paramount.

Responding to the decision of the House of Representatives (DPR) to form a special committee for Hajj supervision using its right of inquiry, Qoumas said that the government will comprehensively brief the committee on all the Hajj processes and services it manages.

“That process (the establishment of the committee) is guaranteed by the Constitution. Hence, we will play along,” he added.

On a separate occasion, legislators agreed to establish the special committee at a DPR plenary meeting at the Parliamentary Complex, Jakarta.

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DPR Deputy Speaker Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar underscored that the establishment of the special committee was not at odds with the applicable regulations and rules.

Meanwhile, a lawmaker, Selly Andriany Gantina, said that the backers of the committee’s establishment at the parliament were of the view that the manner in which the government stipulated and distributed additional Hajj quotas violated Law No.8 of 2019 on the implementation of Hajj and Umrah.

She criticized the government for not properly using the additional quotas to cut the long queues of Hajj hopefuls.