PENDANG – Pilgrims who wish to perform the umrah are advised to check on the status of the umrah operators at the i-Umrah portal of the Wakaf, Zakat and Haj Department (JAWHAR) before making any payment to avoid becoming victims of fraud.
JAWHAR director general Ahmad Musadad Sulaiman said the portal, which could be accessed at http://intranet.jawhar.gov.my/umrah/index.php provided information such as the list of registered umrah operators.
They should only deal with tour agents that are registered with the Tourism and Culture Ministry, he said.
He told this to Bernama after officiating the ‘JAWHAR Bersama Santuni Masyarakat’ programme at Kampung Pondok Chegar, here today.
The i-Umrah is a portal specially developed to provide information on registered umrah operators as a guidance for those intending to perform the umrah pilgrimage.
Ahmad Musadad said based on statistics by the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia, a total of 3,482 fraudulent umrah cases were recorded from 2012 until October last year, involving losses amounting to RM21 million.
He did not rule out the possibility that most of the fraud cases occurred due to the attitude of the pilgrims themselves who were easily influenced by cheap umrah packages without checking the background of the umrah operators.
In fact, Ahmad Musadad said the government had fixed the price floor for an umrah package at RM4,900, and thorough checks should be carried out operators offering at below the price. – BERNAMA