This was confirmed by Minister in—Charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, at a Haj send—off ceremony at the Changi Airport on Sunday morning.
MUIS has clarified that Haj authorities in Saudi Arabia have all along required women pilgrims below 45 years of age to be accompanied by their male relative called Mahram when performing the Haj so that the young women can be properly taken care of.
Dr Yaacob said although Singapore has assured Saudi authorities that MUIS will take care of each Singapore pilgrim, Saudi authorities did not accept this.
He added that the challenge for Singapore pilgrims is that to perform the Haj, Singapore has to fulfil all requirements set by the Saudi authorities.
Previously, pilgrims from Singapore had been exempted from this ruling after MUIS appealed on behalf of a small number of women from Singapore.
But last year, Saudi authorities decided not to exempt all 70 women applicants from Singapore.
And this year, all 56 women applicants were similarly unsuccessful. But five of them eventually managed to get their male relatives to accompany them.
MUIS said for the 51 of them, they had earlier been informed that their application to perform the Haj would be subject to the approval of the Saudi Haj authorities.
Haj agents had also been requested not to collect any payment from these applicants until consent had been obtained from the Saudi Haj authorities.
MUIS has asked the unsuccessful applicants to try and arrange for a male relative to accompany them or to postpone their pilgrimage.
Every year, women make up about 40 percent of pilgrims from Singapore.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Aralık 2007, 11:24