New mechanism to replace IMAMS

By BERNAMA / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

The government will seek a new mechanism that is more effective in addressing umrah package scams in the country, following the cancellation of the Integrated Manasik Monitoring System (IMAMS) for umrah visa applications on Saturday.

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (picture) said the implementation of the mechanism would be reviewed to ensure that only Muslims are involved in its management.

“The new mechanism will cover all aspects, including exemption from the Goods and Services Tax (GST). It will be more efficient and not burden users.

“The ministry also assures that the new method is 100% Islamic-compliant as we take into consideration sensitivity issues,” she said at a media conference on Saturday.

Also present was the ministry’s secretary general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah.

The implementation of IMAMS was originally scheduled for last Friday. Its cancellation was made following mixed reactions received from the public due to additional costs to be incurred to perform the umrah.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak described the cancellation of IMAMS for the umrah visa application as an appropriate measure.

“I disagree with the IMAMS being implemented for umrah visa applications. The announcement of the cancellation is very apt,” he said through his Twitter account.

The IMAMS cancellation was announced by Mas Ermieyati on Saturday.

Following the cancellation of the IMAMS, Mas Ermieyati said the government would be looking for a more effective way of handling umrah package frauds.

At a press conference last Friday, Mas Ermieyati said the IMAMS implementation, which was the sole official access of umrah visa application to be processed by the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Malaysia, aimed at addressing the umrah package frauds in the country.

Among other things, IMAMS imposed certain charges that were perceived by the community as additional costs for performing umrah. — Bernama