MELAKA, Feb 15 — Pilgrims who are eligible to receive compensation following the temporary postponement of umrah travel are given until next month to open a Tabung Haji (TH) savings account for that purpose.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Senator Datuk Idris Ahmad said the period was extended because more than 1,000 pilgrims have yet to open a TH account, which is the sole medium to be used for the payment.

“The compensation payment will be made this Friday (Feb 18) and we hope pilgrims who are eligible to receive the payment will immediately open a TH savings account …the payment will be extended until March,” he said, adding that payment would be made using TH savings account as TH is available everywhere including in villages.

He told reporters this after attending the opening ceremony of the state-level Multaqa Murabbi Ummah at Al-Azim Mosque here today, officiated by Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

Also present was the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) deputy chief executive of operations Datuk Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee.

Idris said he had also instructed TH to inform its branch offices nationwide to facilitate the opening of TH savings accounts to smoothen the disbursement process.

It was reported that pilgrims who were affected by the temporary postponement of umrah travel would each receive RM1,671 in compensation to be paid out on Feb 18.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) had submitted a list of 8,027 pilgrims who were eligible to receive the compensation and out of that number, nearly 1,000 individuals still do not have TH savings accounts. — Bernama