TH does not profit from haj packages offered by travel agencies

10 Aug 2019 / 22:06 H.

MAKKAH: The Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) does not profit from any haj packages offered by the travel agencies which have been issued with licence by the TH Haj Pilgrims Organiser (PJH).

PJH operations director Mat Admara Alang Azizdin said TH only imposed a service fee of RM500 per pilgrim brought by the travel agencies for access to various services provided by TH in the Holy Land, including health and financial services.

“The packages depending on the travel agencies that are currently offered are between RM24,590 and RM180,000 per pilgrim, but I wish to emphasise here that the TH does not take 10 or 20% profit, only RM500 service fee.

“To date there are 22 companies with valid PJH licences and to date 6,140 pilgrims have chosen to perform the haj pilgrimage using packages offered by these companies,” he told a press conference at TH Makkah headquarters in Abraj Janadriyah here today.

This year’s haj season saw 30,200 Malaysian pilgrims being housed at nine “maktab” (accommodations) here and assisted by 640 TH officials.

Mat Admara said only pilgrims who received an offer to perform the haj pilgrimage by TH during the year could choose to do it via packages offered by the travel agencies licenced by PJH.

He said TH would not subsidise pilgrims who use the packages offered by the PJH-licensed travel agencies and claimed that TH had saved about RM80 million in last year alone, by this move.

“There is no limit to the maximum number of pilgrims for the company to manage but the minimum must be 50 pilgrims, if the company fails to get the minimum number and does not bring any congregation in two consecutive years, the company must then apply for a new PJH licence,” he said.

It was important for the travel agencies to deliver what they offered in the packages and TH would send staff to monitor the services provided, especially in terms of food and lodging, he said.

“If the package offers accommodation for two pilgrims sharing a room, it needs to provide that. If we find out that it squeezes four pilgrims in one room instead, we will take action. Food provided must be adequate too and if the package says it offers lodging less than 100 m from Masjidil Haram, it must honour that pledge.

“Usually the distance between the hotel and the Masjidil Haram for this package is less than 300 m and if we find it is not delivered during our first inspection we will issue a first warning to rectify everything. But if it happens for the second time, there is no mercy. We are strict when it comes to the welfare of the pilgrims,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, the Furada Haj Consultation Centre (PPHF) is ready to help 26 Malaysians stranded at the Jeddah International Airport following problems pertaining to their furada visa on Tuesday.

PPHF director-general Ahmad Tajuddin Idris Al-Manhaji said the stranded pilgrims could contact the centre so that they could be considered for a place to perform the fifth pillar of Islam next year.

“We urge the stranded pilgrims to come to our office in Shah Alam to give us their details and information so that we can assist in the consultation process.

“We will provide the information to the Saudi Embassy and request to obtain a furada visa for next year. However, it is still subject to the decision of the embassy,” he told Bernama today. — Bernama

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