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Unlicensed umrah and hajj firms: A threat to Muslim pilgrims

Is defrauding or short-changing pilgrims not a deplorable crime?


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Revelations by the Umrah and Hajj Travel Agency Association (Papuh) vice-president, Muhammad Mursyid Abu Hassan, have raised eyebrows.

Mursyid claimed there are unlicensed (illegal) umrah and hajj package providers in Malaysia.

This raises the question of what the defenders of race and religion are doing to protect Muslims from such abominable exploits. 

According to Mursyid, the government has not done much monitoring of these illegal entities despite the many reports made. He added there are also other cases involving fraud. 

Add these many unlicensed operators to the 900 licensed members of the association.

Note also that the 900 legitimate operators paid RM200,000 each to obtain the umrah and hajj package providers’ licence.

So these must be large business ventures involving millions, if not billions of ringgit. It looks as if religious obligations are tied to business entities making money. 

We need to ask the self-proclaimed defenders of race and religion, how could they not have heard or known about such charlatan operators fleecing and short-changing Muslims desiring to fulfil their sacred obligations? Is cheating unsuspecting Muslims not an insult to the religion? 

Is allowing unlicensed operators of umrah and hajj packages, some of whom are engaged in fraudulent practises (as alleged by Mursyid), a lesser crime than inadvertently hurting the “sensitivities” of Muslims? 

Perhaps Muslims themselves should raise these matters and demand that the “Madani” (civil and compassionate) government tackle this problem for the good of the Muslims in the country. 

We have had far too many scandals afflicting the Muslims despite having institutions to care and provide for their needs and obligatory duties.

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We have also often witnessed the growing numbers of ‘defenders’, especially among politicians, claiming they are protectors of the Malay Muslims.  

Is defrauding or short-changing pilgrims not a deplorable crime against Muslims and Islam? 

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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