The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Idris Ahmad has announced a payment of RM1,671 for Umrah pilgrims who cancel their trip following the months-long temporary postponement.
In a statement yesterday (13 February), he said the payment will be credited only to the Tabung Haji (TH) savings account of the pilgrims to facilitate matters on 18 February.
“The government will channel the compassionate payment as a sign of concern to the umrah pilgrims who were forced to cancel their pilgrimage to the Holy Land due to the proliferation of the Omicron virus starting January 8,” he said.
In January, the Health Ministry (KKM) had placed a temporarily ban for Umrah travel to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.
However, Umrah pilgrimages for Malaysians has once again resume on 8 February, with a new standard operating procedure including a mandatory Covid-19 booster dose for pilgrims.
In addition, travel agents now need to monitor the compliance of Umrah pilgrims while in the Holy Land, travelling back to Malaysia, and while at Malaysia’s international entry points.
Meanwhile, Idris said the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry had submitted a list of 8,027 names of Umrah pilgrims who were impacted and qualified to receive the payment, and of the total, almost 1,000 of them still did not have a TH savings account.
“As the method of payment is through a TH savings account, I urge all umrah pilgrims who have yet to have such an account to do so before 18 February,” he said.
Idris added that pilgrims can visit the TH website to open a saving account online, or go to the nearest TH branch to activate their accounts biometrically.
Alternatively, they could go directly to the nearest TH counter for the purpose of registration if they had difficulties registering online.
“The impacted pilgrims will be served immediately without having to wait in a queue,” he said.