RM12.3k for B40, RM19k for M40; groups face payment disparities in 2024 Hajj season

KUALA LUMPUR: The Hajj payment rate for a prospective participant from the B40 group, performing the pilgrimage for the first time, has been set at RM12,356, while it is RM19,152 for the M40 group.

Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) group managing director and chief executive officer, Syed Hamadah Syed Othman, stated that the pilgrimage cost for a prospective Muassasah Hajj package participant for this year's Hajj season has increased to RM33,300 compared to RM30,850 last year.

He mentioned that offer letters would be issued today to 31,600 pilgrims for the 1445H/2024M Hajj season.

He added that prospective Hajj participants are required to respond to the offer letters within 11 working days through the THiJARI application.

At the same time, the government will bear RM1,000 for a prospective Hajj participant in the B40 group.

"The payment for first-time Hajj pilgrims from the M40 group will be RM19,152 each. They will receive financial assistance for Hajj amounting to RM14,418 each, which is 42 per cent of the total Hajj cost," he said.

"Last year, the B40 group received financial assistance for Hajj amounting to RM19,870 each, or 64 per cent of the cost, while the M40 group received assistance totaling RM14,870 or 48 per cent of the Hajj cost.

He mentioned that offer letters to 31,600 pilgrims for the Hajj season 1445H/2024M will be issued starting today.

He said prospective pilgrims must respond to the offer letter within 11 working days through the THiJARI application.

"Despite the increase in Hajj costs, TH (Tabung Haji) continues to seek the best ways to balance efforts in providing excellent services for the welfare of the country's pilgrims while maintaining the financial sustainability of TH.

"Since 2001, TH has spent a total of RM2.4 billion on financial assistance for Hajj and is expected to finance costs amounting to RM350.1 million for this year's Hajj season," he said at the announcement of the Hajj offer letters and financial assistance for Hajj at Menara TH today.

Also present was TH's executive director, Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.

Commenting on prospective pilgrims who appeal out of turn, Syed Hamadah said they must pay the full cost for Hajj, unless they fall into two categories; appeals as mahram to a pilgrim or as an assistant to an elderly pilgrim selected to perform the fifth pillar of Islam.

Meanwhile, Syed Saleh, addressing the issue of the potential impact of the Hajj cost increase, especially on the B40 group, said the rate was determined based on cross-checking data provided by the government.

"The determination of rates for the B40, M40, and T20 groups is based on cross-checking with data from the government.

"So, we will rely entirely on this data," he said.

Regarding the increase in Hajj costs, Syed Hamadah said it covers the entire Hajj service chain, including accommodation, flights, meals, visas, services during the stay in the homeland and the Holy Land. It also includes Masyair– which refers to the movement of pilgrims from Makkah to Arafah and then onwards to Muzdalifah and Mina– operations, transportation, welfare management costs, and the health and other operational costs of the pilgrims.

Moreover, he said, TH is also exposed to factors beyond its control, such as the increase in inflation rates, value-added tax, and service charges in the Holy Land that continue to rise.

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