KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — The government is refining the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the purpose of allowing Malaysians to travel abroad through the services of licenced tour operators, including performing umrah and ziarah.
The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) in a statement today said the draft SOP had gone through a series of discussions with industry players and was presented to various leading ministries and government agencies for improvement.
Motac is among the Malaysian delegation to Saudi Arabia for the official working visit of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad starting today until April 18, according to the statement.
“The Saudi government has introduced new policies and imposed strict SOPs in line with the announcement of the reopening of the country’s international borders, including resuming umrah activities for foreign Muslims on November 1, 2020.
“As the ministry that regulates the handling of umrah or ziarah packages, this working visit is important to look at aspects of the SOP for both countries, the welfare of Malaysian pilgrims while performing umrah and the proposed relaxation for Malaysian umrah industry players,” it said.
It is hoped that the working visit would streamline the ministry’s proposal to the government regarding allowing Malaysians to travel abroad, including to perform umrah and ziarah, it added. — Bernama