Hajj panel facilitating pilgrims


BANGKOK, 3 June 2011 – The committee in charge of promoting Hajj affairs in Thailand is working on measures to facilitate this year’s pilgrims, including requesting the government to improve Narathiwat airport to accommodate larger airplanes for pilgrimage.

According to Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat in his capacity as chairperson of the committee in charge of promoting Hajj affairs in Thailand, 22,743 Thai Muslims have registered for pilgrimage this year, all of whom have paid the 50,000-baht insurance; however, the number of participants exceeds Thailand’s quota of 13,000.

The ministry hence has cut down the number of pilgrims they will handle this year to 12,800 and forwarded 200 others to the arrangement of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre. The 9,943 remaining people have been put on the waiting list.

The committee in charge of promoting Hajj affairs in Thailand recently discussed measures to facilitate Hajj pilgrims including arranging training sessions for pilgrim leaders, providing health examination, and recording profiles of pilgrims. The subcommittee on accommodation rental arrangement has also been assigned to inspect lodgings for Thai pilgrims in Saudi Arabia in advance.

In addition, the Ministry of Transport has agreed to the committee’s request to expand runways of Narathiwat Airport in order to accommodate 300-seat Airbus planes and complete the work before the pilgrimage season next year so that pilgrims, mostly staying in the South, can travel to Saudi Arabia easier.