Idris: Gov’t to pay umrah pilgrims RM1,671 on Feb 18

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 13 — A payment of RM1,671 each for pilgrims who had to cancel their umrah travel following the month-long temporary postponement, will be made on Feb 18, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Idris Ahmad.

He said the payment will be credited only to the Tabung Haji (TH) savings account of the pilgrims to facilitate matters.

“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 Jan 8,” he said in a statement today.

The government had temporarily postponed permission for umrah travel from Jan 8 to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.

The government has since allowed umrah pilgrimages for Malaysians to resume on Feb 8, with a new standard operating procedure (SOP) including a mandatory COVID-19 booster dose for pilgrims.

Travel agents also need to monitor the compliance of umrah pilgrims while in the Holy Land, traveling back to Malaysia, and while at Malaysia’s international entry points.

According to Idris, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) 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 Feb 18,” he said.

Idris said pilgrims could go to to open a TH saving account online, or go to the nearest TH branch to activate their accounts biometrically.

He added that they could go directly to the nearest TH counter for purpose of registration if they had difficulties registering online.

“The impacted pilgrims will be served immediately without having to wait in a queue,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency