Pilgrims stranded in Makkah: TH yet to receive official report

Pilgrims stranded in Makkah: TH yet to receive official report

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) has not yet received any official reports regarding several Malaysians stranded in Makkah after allegedly being scammed by a travel agency that promised to secure their haj visas.

Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said his department was informed that the status of the stranded individuals remained unchanged and they have not yet lodged a complaint with Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) to seek assistance to return to Malaysia.

“According to the reports received from TH chief executive officer (Syed Hamadah Syed Othman) and the haj delegation head Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman, there has been no official contact from them to request assistance.

“We hope that those who are stranded will lodge complaints with TH officials in the Holy Land,” he told reporters after officiating the Al-Falah Pavilion and launching a new book published by the Minister’s Agency in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) at the World Trade Centre here today.

On Wednesday, the media reported that several Malaysian pilgrims were stranded in Makkah after their passports were held by a travel agency, preventing them from returning to Malaysia.
Commenting further, Mohd Na’im said matters related to tourism and umrah fall under the jurisdiction of the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, while those pertaining to haj are under the jurisdiction of TH.

At the same time, he reminded Malaysians not to easily trust advertisements by travel agencies claiming they can issue haj visas.

“I have emphasised that haj visas are only issued by TH, which includes 31,600 this year. Besides TH, the Saudi Arabian Embassy issues the Mujamalah or Furada visas. Other parties don’t have the authority to issue any form of haj visas,” he said.

— BERNAMA

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