Singapore "hopeful" about request to raise official haj quota this year: Yaacob
Singapore's request to raise this year's official haj quota from 680 to 800 "has not met with any resistance" from the Saudi authorities, said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, on Saturday.
Dr Yaacob, who is leaving for Saudi Arabia later on Saturday to attend the haj ministerial meeting, told reporters that he is hopeful about Singapore's request, in view of its population growth.
The Saudi government temporarily reduced the quota of all pilgrims by 20 per cent last year because of the major development and upgrading works near the Holy Mosque in Mecca.
"I am hopeful because I think the signs are that it is on track to be completed," said Dr Yaacob, referring to the upgrading works in Mecca. "We have put in a request to increase our official quota from 680 to 800 and it has not met with any resistance," he added. "If we can at least get our official quota to change from 680 to 800, it will be a good start."