Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Chairman of Commission VIII of House, Ida Fauzyah rated that the management of haj pilgrims this year was relatively better in spite of still some hindrances which should have been anticipated by the Government. For example in terms of sleeping accommodation many things were not in accordance with contract, and there were concentration of pilgrims which did not meet security requirements. This was disclosed after meeting with the Government of South Kalimantan Rudy Arifin.

According to Ida Fuziah, what needed to be improved in services for pilgrims were security service by pilgrims as crime was still prevalent there. One of the reasons was low security-personel to pil­grims ratio which had caused Indonesian pilgrims be the victims of thieves while some were even molest­ed. So the problem was low police-to-pilgrims ratio.

As with travel agents it was necessary to reform travel bureaus specializing in handling haj pilgrims. Many haj pilgrims had been cheated by fraudu­lent travel agents and the victims numbered 1,500 pilgrims. The cases were cheating which were acts of crime. Therefore the Ministry of Religion must fol­low up the case and take legal actions involving the Police not overlooking the act of punishment-and- re­ward for those involved.

In terms of health, haj candidates needed overall preparation so as soon as they arrived in Mecca they could perform their rituals earnestly and sol­emnly.

Illumination and publication was necessary for the people who wished to apply for Haj pilgrimage. If they intended to go on pilgrimage the regular package way, they had to sign in to the Ministry of Religion. Meaning they had to register by the right procedure not to be cheated by anyone who prom­ised to arrange faster quota. There were many cases where Haj applicant wished to go on pilgrimage the fastest way and not to wait for too long but ended up in paying high price without getting the right service as they deserved to get.

Furthermore the Government must announce to the public which travel agent rendered extra ser­vice end which agency merely masqueraded. In fact the masqueraded travel agents had no formal opera­tion permit as formal pilgrimage organizer, they were mostly nothing but regular travel agents. The Government was expected to announce as means of sanc­tioning.

The Supervisory Team of Haj Organizer in House was expecting trans-sectoral coordination be­tween the Ministry of Religion and Ministry of Health to discuss health service plan like assigning doctors on duty who were scarce. Honorarium for specialist doctors should not be the same as that for standard doctors the way it was happening now. This was dis­closed by member of Pilgrimage Supervisory Team of House Eva Kusuma Sundari to the press.

Other problems in pilgrimage organizing af­fairs the worst being was insufficient supply of tents by the Government of Saudi Arabia in Mina. This forced pilgrims to sleep like pack of sardines, they could not even straighten their legs or change posi­tions. We were not expecting pilgrimage trips which tolerated bad service, public service must be prepared as early as possible.

Furthermore Eva underscored that the Ministry of religion must play effective diplomacy to demand better service for pilgrims to the Government of Saudi Arabia. We expect that Commission VIII of House could firmly set a benchmark of service standard to serve as reference. Therefore it was necessary to scheme up a standard of improvement comprehensively by the Ministry of Religion. House must prepare a checklist of what was done and what must be done in due course.

Business News - November 19, 2012

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