KOTA KINABALU, May 2 — The Foreign Ministry today debunked as fake news an article claiming that the US has waived the visa requirement for 10 countries, including Malaysia.
In a statement, the ministry said the article entitled ‘US Adds Jamaica, 9 Other Countries to Its Visa Waiver Program’ carried by news link news-ap.com is incorrect.
“To date, there has been no change in the status of the Visa Waiver Programme for Malaysians.
“Malaysians wanting to visit the US are still required to apply for visas in the normal way. The Ministry calls for an immediate halt to the circulation of the news through WhatsApp and any other social or communication channels,” it said.
The news website called News-AP, which could be mistaken for international news agency the Associated Press (AP), claimed that the US State Department had added 10 countries, including Malaysia, into its visa waiver programme.
It quoted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as allegedly having said that the addition of the 10 countries — Argentina, Uruguay, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Malaysia, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Seychelles, Cayman Islands and Georgia — was part of a series of transformations the programme was going through.
Under the last government administration, Malaysia had harboured hopes of getting onto the Visa Waiver programme after former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak met former US president Barack Obama in April 2014.
However, it was later announced that the plan fell through.
At present, only 38 countries are eligible for visa-free entry to the US under the programme.