His Majesty has consented for the raise from $3,500 to $4,500
Bandar Seri Begawan - The Minister of Religious Affairs, YB Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pengiran Hj Abdul Rahman said his ministry has received consent from His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to increase Haj passage for government servants from $3,500 to $4,500 and has also consented for a top-up of $600 for adults and $475 for children for those going for Haj for the first and second time only.
It means that $6,000 will be paid by the government and the remaining $3,400 is borne by the intending pilgrims (government servants) themselves. "If we are thankful, Allah the Almighty will add more rewards and blessings. If the fund is not enough, we should slowly save to enable us to perform the Haj," said the minister.
The minister was responding to YB Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Hamid bin Bakal who said the Haj passage offered for the government servants did not assist much due to the increase in Haj package cost these days.
The package cost has increased annually. Last year, the most expensive package was around $16,000 while the lowest was $10,000.
In the old days, the Haj passage (of $3,500) was nearly adequate for an intending pilgrim and only a small amount was needed as top-up.
YB Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Hamid called for the Ministry of Religious Affairs to analyse whether it is still relevant.
"In my view, it is appropriate for the policy of giving Haj passage to be in line with the Haj package in that year and based on moderate package cost like $13,000. If the government could assist by reviewing it, for instance by giving $6,500, the intending pilgrim would only have to bear another half"
YB Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Hamid said due to the recent reduction in Haj quota to 400 and that not all the 400 intending pilgrims are government servants, it is appropriate to consider and will not be a burden to the government.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin