Thu, 11 Mar 1999

Tangerang has fewer haj pilgrims

TANGERANG (JP): Tangerang regent Agus Djunara said on Wednesday that the number of Muslims from Tangerang performing the haj reached only 351 this year, substantially lower than the 3,000 haj pilgrims last year.

"The sharp drop is caused mainly by the plunge of the rupiah against the U.S. dollar during the current economic crisis," Agus said during a meeting with this year's pilgrims.

Agus urged all those performing the haj to make the best of their pilgrimage by remaining physically fit and safeguarding the good image of Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the head of the Tangerang chapter of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Suroh, said that the pilgrims would depart in three batches. They will leave on March 14, March 18 and March 20. (41/ylt)