Malaysians are not allowed to marry in Saudi Arabia as it violates the law of that country, says Tourism and Culture Deputy Minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.
She said it had become a trend for Malaysians to tie the knot in Saudi Arabia, and that the ministry would begin raising awareness among pilgrims and Malaysians that they were not allowed to do so.
Mas Ermieyati said she herself was unaware of the matter until it was tabled by the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) at a meeting here yesterday.
“So after this, the ministry will take responsibility to curb this trend by informing pilgrims or Malaysians who intend to marry there about the ban,” she said at a press conference.
She said the only non-Saudi Arabians allowed to marry in the country were permanent residents holding “Iqama” cards.
Mas Ermieyati earlier attended the Umrah Regulatory Meeting No 4/2017 which saw a presentation by Jakim on the marriage issue and another on improvements in umrah pilgrimage management at key national airports by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.
She said those who got married in Saudi Arabia would face problems in legally registering their marriages back in Malaysia as it would not be recognised by the Saudi Arabian government.
Mas Ermieyati also expressed concern over the trend of performing the “do-it-yourself” (DIY) umrah, which gained traction after several social media users shared their experience of using the method.
“I would like to remind pilgrims once again that the DIY umrah is illegal under Saudi Arabian law, and this matter is being checked at the ministry level because performing an umrah in this way poses a high risk to the pilgrims although the cost is low,” she said.
In the meantime, she said, the government would introduce a special licence for companies organising umrah plus tour packages on Oct 3.
“We are in the final stages of preparing this special licensing scheme including the introduction of the Integrated Manasik Monitoring System (IMAMS) to better manage pilgrim groups,” she said.-BERNAMA