Licences of 14 tourism companies and umrah operators cancelled since 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The licences of 14 tourism companies and umrah operators have been cancelled under the Tourism Industry Act 1992 (Act 482) since 2009 till this year.

Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsuddin said of these, the licences of 11 companies were cancelled and another company had its outbound tourism licence withdrawn after they were found to have committed fraud, while another two were in the appeal stage.

"The ministry is serious about combating fraudulent activities involving umrah packages including withdrawing or cancelling their licences and blacklisting the agencies.

"This year, the notice for licence cancellation was issued to two companies which committed offences under the Act and we are investigating several other companies which conduct umrah packages. If found guilty, they will face the same action," she said at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Mas Ermieyati was replying to a question from Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) on the action taken by the ministry against companies which cheated on umrah packages.

Mas Ermieyati said among the companies whose licences were cancelled were Warith NY Travel & Tours, Madain Al-Taqwa Travel & Tours and Permata El-Nur Travel & Tours while the outbound licence of Agensi Pengembaraan Asari Murni Sdn Bhd was withdrawn.

She said besides cancelling the licences, the ministry would also not consider any application for a new licence from any individual or company which had been blacklisted for any offences under the Act.

She said the ministry also cooperated with the Companies Commission of Malaysia to prevent the guilty parties from setting up tourism-related companies or taking over other companies for the purpose of tourism activities.

The ministry also worked with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to identify and block the websites of unlicensed companies and individuals from advertising for umrah packages, she said.

Mas Ermieyati added that any company found guilty of cheating the public involving umrah packages would also face action from other agencies like the police and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism. — Bernama