The Straits Times
Published on Sep 12, 2012

Fewer places available for pilgrimage to Mecca

Just 680 this year; Saudi government not giving out extra 'goodwill visas'


Fewer places will be available for Muslims planning to go on this year's haj or pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Saudi government is granting Singapore and other countries visas for 0.1 per cent of their Muslim populations, but it is not giving out extra "goodwill visas".

For Singapore's Muslim community, this means there will be only 680 available spots in 2012.

In 2011, Singapore was given an extra 1,500 goodwill visas, on top of the 680 visas.