KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will review the eligibility of travel agencies involved in organising umrah travels.
Its Minister, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (pic), said this is due to complaints lodged by umrah pilgrims who have been duped by travel agencies despite the strict action taken against these errant companies.
He says that his deputy minister, Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, will lead the review committee and present the complete report within a month.
"This includes identifying companies that conduct their business well and those who do not, as well as detailed reports on the records of these companies in handling umrah pilgrims.
"This is to ensure that travel companies are more responsible in conducting business and not neglecting their clients,” he said in statement on Friday (Nov 24).
Tiong said the ministry would also resolve other issues about prices and application procedures, which could be done through the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, before handing the matter over to the relevant travel agencies as part of the efforts to reduce costs.
"Travel agencies, old and new, must report every activity involving their clients throughout their umrah journey to the Ministry for close monitoring and to ensure that they fulfil the promises they have made to the clients,” he said.
The Ministry will pay a courtesy visit to Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Malaysia and its Minister of Haj and Umrah to discuss the quota.
"If the Ministry is given this responsibility, a committee will be set up, led by the deputy minister, to manage this matter (umrah quota) rather than giving it directly to travel companies to ensure that our country’s umrah pilgrimage process can run more smoothly, transparently and responsibly,” he said, adding that this is also to prevent incidents of fraud from recurring.
He reminded umrah travel agencies to give their clients the best service and warned them against marketing and offering services that they cannot provide.- Bernama