10 December 2013
The Government has relaxed visa restrictions for tourists from India and China in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014 next year.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Indian and Chinese tourists will be granted the visa-on-arrival (VoA) facility, but only for those who enter Malaysia through a third country.
Currently, India and China passport holders are required to apply for a visa for travel to Malaysia.
“But we will not compromise if there are those who come to cause social problems or do not return (to their home country),” Dr Ahmad Zahid said at the Immigration Day gathering here on Tuesday.
Malaysia had in 2010 scrapped the VoA facility offered to visitors from eight countries, including China and India, due to abuse.
It has been reported that thousands of tourists have abused their VOA, which was introduced in 2006 in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007, by overstaying.
An Immigration official said there were 39,000 Indian nationals and 6,000 Chinese citizens who have overstayed in Malaysia.
Separately, Dr Ahmad Zahid also announced that Malaysians who apply for an international passport will no longer need to enclose a physical photograph with their applications starting March 1 next year.
“They (Malaysians) will just need to bring themselves to the counter, where their photograph will be taken,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said.
No extra cost will be charged on consumers for the service, Dr Ahmad Zahid added.
Source: The Star