SEPANG: Prospective hajj pilgrims this year can now perform hajj under Rahmah hajj packages priced at RM50,000 and below, offered by travel agencies with haj operator licence (PJH) issued by Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH).

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na'im Mokhtar said that the move received a positive response from the 23 PJHs, in fact, some even offered packages with prices ranging from RM43,000 to RM45,000 per person.

“Alhamdulillah, with less than RM50,000 (per person) we hope more (prospective hajj pilgrims) can take up the offer, Insya-Allah,” he said.

He said this to the media after launching the PJH 1444H/2023 Carnival, themed ‘Choose Comfort, Choose a Hajj Package’ which was organised for the first time by TH and the Association of Bumiputera Tourism Operators of Malaysia (Bumitra) here today.

Also launched was the PJH directory which can be used as a reference for prospective hajj pilgrims.

Mohd Nai’m said that the 23 PJHs licensed by TH have strong capacity, expertise and experience and are competent in providing the best services. They are responsible for looking after the welfare of pilgrims who perform the hajj under the muassasah and packages.

“In the past few years, we have heard of hajj and umrah package fraud in the news. The government views this matter seriously and is determined to eradicate this menace involving hajj pilgrims,” he said.

He said for that purpose, TH is working closely with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and agencies registered under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) to address the problem.

At the same time, Mohd Na’im stressed that TH has never appointed any individuals as agents in matters related to the hajj package and offers. Any individual or company that offers hajj package services without TH's approval may be subject to legal action under the Tabung Haji Act 1995.

He also added that 31,600 individuals have been offered to perform the haj this year, and the government was still awaiting Saudi Arabia's approval for an additional 350 pilgrims.

“The government had submitted an appeal and we have been given a 31,600 hajj quota this year. Hence, we have relayed to the Saudi Arabian government why we hope to increase by 350 more, to bring the total to 31,950,” he said.

He also said that one of the reasons presented to the Saudi Arabian government is that Malaysia's population has grown to 31.95 million and he hoped that the appeal would receive due consideration. -Bernama