SEPANG: About 380 prospective Haj pilgrims were stranded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here on Friday (July 8) morning, believed to have been cheated by a travel agency.
The group, who was gathered at Level 5, KLIA Departure Hall, were said to have been issued the furada or private Haj visa to perform their pilgrimage without going through Lembaga Tabung Haji.
The furada visa is a private visa reportedly issued by Saudi Arabia, without involving the quota allocated to Tabung Haji.
According to a pilgrim who only wanted to be known as Adi, the travel agency had asked the group under its charge to be at KLIA on Thursday (July 7), as the flight was expected to depart at 4.30pm, but they were later informed it had been postponed to 7pm.
"On checking, we found that the last flight to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was at about 6pm today and so far, we have not received any news from the travel agency’s representative," he said.
According to the initial plan, he said they were supposed to fly to Jeddah last Tuesday (July 5), but this too was postponed on the grounds that some documents were still incomplete.
He said the group members were never shown their flight tickets and visas to perform the Haj.
Meanwhile another group member known as Jamilah, 59, said she accepts this unfortunate predicament as fate and a test from Allah.
"Until now, we have not got back our passports because they are still being held by the travel agency," said Jamilah who is from Terengganu and had paid RM76,000 to perform the Haj with her husband.
Jamilah said a staff of the travel agency had met the group but no proper explanation was given over the hassle.
"We were never shown our flight ticket or visa because we have put our trust in them but instead we have been duped," she said.
Meanwhile, KLIA police chief ACP Imran Abd Rahman when contacted said the police were still taking statements from the tour agency operator. - Bernama