Don’t cheat, mufti tells umrah pilgrims

PETALING JAYA: Umrah pilgrims who falsify their vaccination certificates are being “cruel” (zalim) and unjust to other pilgrims who are vaccinated against Covid-19, says deputy Perak Mufti Datuk Zamri Hashim.

The action by these irresponsible individuals can also mar the credibility of the country’s vaccination certificate which is extremely important for Malaysians who want to perform their umrah.

Zamri expressed worry that the issue might affect those who have genuine vaccination certificates and want to perform the umrah, Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.

“It is certainly wrong to lie. Those who have falsified their vaccination certificates are being cruel to the vaccinated groups and are putting their lives in danger.

“If someone is endangering others while performing the umrah or haj, it is feared that such action may raise questions whether the umrah or haj ritual is mabrur (accepted into the grace of Allah),” he said during a function in Parit Buntar on Friday.

He was responding to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who said that 17 of the 122 individuals infected with the Omicron variant as of Tuesday were found to have no vaccination record and were all individuals travelling from overseas.

On Jan 1, Khairy announced that the government had decided to temporarily suspend travel permission to perform umrah starting from Jan 8 to curb the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

The postponement was due to concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant due to non-compliance by umrah pilgrims with the home-quarantine procedure, resulting in infection among family members.

Following this, he said the Cabinet had ordered the temporary postponement of umrah for a month from yesterday to enable a risk assessment to be carried out before allowing the pilgrimage to resume.

The revision of the SOP would include making it mandatory for pilgrims to get a booster dose.

On Friday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the ministry would raise with other agencies the issue of how Omicron-positive travellers with no vaccination records managed to enter the country.

He added that his ministry would hold talks with all airline companies regarding the entry of foreign travellers infected with the Omicron variant, besides not having any Covid-19 vaccination record.

“Before any individual receives a clearance pass from the airline company, all details regarding their vaccination record must be presented and checked properly,” said Hamzah.

He added that the immigration department will then receive the record before granting clearance for travelling.

“However, if the clearance pass had been submitted to immigration without knowing if (a person) has been fully vaccinated or not, are we going to withdraw it and not allow them to board the flight, because how are they going to claim compensation?” he said.

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