Saturday, December 16, 2017
All 65 tourism agencies with the status of muassasah (agency handling umrah) in the country who have the Umrah Special License (LKU) are required to use the Integrated Manasik Monitoring System (IMAMS) for umrah visa application effective Friday.
Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the implementation of IMAMS, which was the sole official access of the umrah visa application to be processed by the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Malaysia, was aimed at curbing umrah package fraud in the country.
"The failure of the agencies managing umrah to comply with this directive will result in stringent action by the ministry and can cause their operating licence to be cancelled," she told a press conference, here, Friday.
Mas Ermieyati said the IMAMS system was comprehensive, integrated and compatible with the Saudi government system allowing it to be directly linked to the country's Foreign Ministry for umrah visa application. The implementation of IMAMS involved charges at a rate of RM45 for each pilgrim, which was the lowest in the world compared to other countries that adopted such systems, like Jordan, Egypt and Sudan.
Mas Ermieyati said the IMAMS system could also ensure that every pilgrim was covered by umrah takaful (insurance) with comprehensive coverage at a reasonable premium rate of RM40 per pilgrim.
"The rate is the lowest in the market for comprehensive travel takaful scheme which meet the requirement of the ministry. In summary, the overall charge involved in the use of the IMAMS system and should be included in the existing umrah price for each pilgrim, is RM90.10 (including GST RM5.10)."
She said the Ministry had agreed to grant an exemption on the processing fee payment to 65 tourism agencies with muassasah status for an umrah visa application which had received the E-MOFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia number on and before Dec. 15 (Friday).