KUALA LUMPUR: There were 48 complaints received by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry over umrah and pilgrimage travel packages from January to October this year, says Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (PH-Balik Pulau).
Out of the 48 complaints, the government had taken action against seven cases of umrah and pilgrimage travel packages, where compounds worth a total of RM129,500 were issued under the Tourism Industry Act 1992, said Muhammad Bakhtiar.
“From 2018 to Oct 2019, the ministry had taken three cases to court for offences in regards to managing umrah and pilgrimage packages without license, ” he said during Question Time in Parliament on Monday (Dec 2).
Muhammad Bakhtiar was replying to Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib (BN-Maran), who asked about figures in regards to cases and action taken against bogus travel agents involving umrah and pilgrimage travel packages.
At the same time, Muhammad Bakhtiar said from 2014 to October 2019, the ministry had taken action against a total of 2,035 complaints, where 391 of it were with regards to umrah and pilgrimage travel package businesses.
For the same period, 612 investigation papers were opened under the Tourism Industry Act 1992, where compounds worth a total of RM701,000 were issued for the 91 cases, he said.
Muhammad Bakhtiar said that from 2009 to 2017, the ministry had cancelled 12 licenses for companies managing umrah and pilgrimage travel packages, as it was found to be involved with cheating cases.
He added that the owners and directors of said companies were blacklisted from obtaining business licenses from the ministry in future.
Muhammad Bakhtiar said the ministry and associations relating to the tourism industry are always cooperating in organising awareness programmes to educate the public about bogus umrah and pilgrimage travel packages.
“The ministry also organised digital awareness campaigns through social media and electronic media to the public, with regards to buying travel packages, umrah packages and the importance of purchasing travel insurance for those travelling abroad, ” he added.
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