|KUCHING (Feb 1): Stern action, including the cancellation of licences, will be taken against travel agencies found to be involved in buying flight tickets wholesale, said Dato Sri Tiong King Sing.
The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said his deputy Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan was instructed to probe the matter and completed the investigation yesterday.
“This is an issue that I have asked my deputy minister to conduct an investigation and to have engagement with the travel agents on the matter.
“He had completed yesterday but I haven’t met him yet. I need to meet him to get full details of the results of the investigation before I leave for the Asean Ministerial Forum in Indonesia tomorrow,” he told reporters after a closed-door meeting with Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri at the Sarawak police contingent headquarters here today.
Tiong said he will announce the ministry’s decision once he receives full details on the matter.
“We will cancel the licence of the travel agents if they are found to have conducted their business in an unlawful manner,” he said.
Berita Harian recently reported that some umrah travel agencies were alleged to have bought flight tickets wholesale from local airlines to the Mecca, and this was one of the reasons for the sudden hike in price to perform the pilgrimage.
The daily quoted Association for Travel Agencies of Umrah and Hajj Malaysia (PAPUH) president Datuk Seri Razali Mohd Sham as saying umrah flight tickets were only around RM2,700 to RM2,800 but were being resold by the agencies involved for between RM4,800 and RM5,000.
He claimed that PAPUH had raised the issue to the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, but was disappointed there was no follow-up action.
“The management of the local airlines also know about the issue, but there is no solution yet,” he was quoted as saying.
|The Borneo Post