KOTA BARU: The government will pay up to 60% of the losses incurred by pilgrims affected by the month-long temporary postponement of umrah travel imposed since Jan 8, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary.

He said Tabung Haji and the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry had checked the list of those affected by the postponement.

“We know of umrah pilgrims who were stranded (following the postponement of the umrah travel) recently and they suffered some losses in expenses such as for accommodation and other bookings.

“Therefore, the government will bear part of their losses.

“However, it is still in the final stage of processing, which is expected to be completed by the middle of this month,” he said after attending a programme with fishermen at the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board Complex here yesterday.

Ahmad Marzuk said the payment would be disbursed by Tabung Haji directly to the pilgrims concerned.

He added that the affected pilgrims would be required to go to the nearest Tabung Haji branch by bringing the relevant documents, such as identity card, visa and details of their umrah package.

“If they have an account, it will be easier as the payment will be credited directly to their Tabung Haji account.

“Tabung Haji will distribute the allocation provided by the government through the Ministry of Finance,” he said, as reported by Bernama.

For those leaving for the umrah pilgrimage tomorrow, he advised them to comply with the standard operating procedure including the wearing of face masks.