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Malaysia Halts Umrah System Over Public Complaints

Malaysia Halts Umrah System Over Public ComplaintsMalaysia Halts Umrah System Over Public Complaints

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has expressed support for the tourism and culture ministry's decision to end the Integrated Manasik Monitoring System (IMAMS) for umrah visa applications one day after introducing the scheme. "The tourism and culture ministry was right to end the Integrated Manasik Monitoring System," he was quoted as saying by Malaymail Online. IMAMS, which came into effect on Friday, would have been the sole authority for visa applications to perform the umrah, the minor Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, and had been introduced to prevent fraudsters targeting would-be pilgrims. The scheme charged each applicant RM45 ($11) for processing, RM40 ($9.7) for a takafful insurance scheme and 6% goods and services tax. The ministry announced next evening that it has decided to discontinue the system following feedback from the industry and public complaints. “I don’t agree that IMAMS be implemented to handle the umrah visas. The announcement of its cancellation is most correct,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter shortly after the announcement.

The plan faced objection, particularly from groups already handling umrah travel and packages, which insisted that there were sufficient safeguards against fraud.

 

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