Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development as well as Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, was accompanied by the Saudi Ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Abdullah Al Mahdi, when the Minister bid farewell to Singaporean Hajj pilgrims at Changi Airport. He highlighting how preparations included increased medical support, and importance placed on their health and safety in the face of challenges such as the hot weather, as they embark on their journey to Mecca
LESS than a month ago, Minister Masagos Zulkifli attended the Pre-Departure Briefing organized by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), where he had the opportunity to meet Singaporean Haj pilgrims. Fast-forward to the present, and some of the pilgrims have already arrived in the Holy Land, marking the beginning of their sacred journey. Minister Masagos bid farewell to a group of pilgrims at Changi Airport on 17th June 2023, listening to their stories and sharing in their excitement. The pilgrims expressed their gratitude for the chance to perform Hajj this year and discussed their early preparations, including participating in the Get Fit for Hajj program under M³’s newly established Focus Area 5. Minister Masagos reassured them that the Singapore Pilgrims Affairs Office (SPAO) team is fully committed to caring for their health, safety, and welfare throughout their pilgrimage.
This year, the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Saudi Arabia has led to an increase in the number of pilgrims from around the world compared to the previous year. However, along with this rise in attendance, there are unique challenges to be faced. The hot weather and dry season in the Holy Land pose additional difficulties for the pilgrims. To address these circumstances, an expanded medical team comprising more doctors and nurses has been deployed to better serve the needs of the Singaporean pilgrims. Minister Masagos emphasized the importance of the pilgrims’ active participation in taking care of their own health, hygiene, and safety throughout their journey. Rest and proper hydration are especially crucial during their stay in the Holy Land.
Undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage is a profound spiritual experience for Muslims, and the well-being of the pilgrims is of paramount importance. The Singaporean pilgrims are encouraged to prioritize their health and well-being by resting adequately and staying hydrated, considering the prevailing weather conditions. The increased presence of medical personnel, in addition to the commitment of the Singapore Pilgrims Affairs Office (SPAO) team, ensures that the pilgrims will receive comprehensive support and care, facilitating a smooth and safe journey for all.
The preparations made by the pilgrims prior to their departure have played a significant role in enhancing their Haj experience. The Get Fit for Hajj program, introduced by M³ as part of Focus Area 5, has helped the pilgrims prepare physically and mentally for the pilgrimage. Minister Masagos acknowledged the dedication of the pilgrims in embracing this initiative and expressed his hope that their efforts would contribute to a successful and blessed Haj pilgrimage. The Singaporean government, through the SPAO, remains committed to facilitating a positive and enriching Haj experience for its citizens, prioritizing their health, safety, and welfare.