KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) vice president Datuk Hamidah Osman had urged Putrajaya to review its suggestion to loosen the conditions for tourists from China and India as she said the move would bring more harm to the country, Sinar Harian reported today.
She told the Malay daily that the laxed regulation for tourists from the two nations would increase the number of illegal immigrants in the country.
Hamidah had also cited a 2005 statistics from the Tourism Ministry, which stated out of 500,000 China tourists that had entered the country, only 315,000 were recorded to have left the country.
“This means the whereabouts of 185,000 China tourists has not been identified and it is believed they have continued to stay in the country as PATI,” she said, referring to illegal immigrants.
“This number is extremely shocking as lately there have been a lot of people from China who were involved in the prostitution sector, massage parlours, and other vice activities,” she was reported to have said.
Hamidah said she was also informed that over 100,000 China citizens were granted citizenship by the Pakatan Harapan government, after being said to have only accepted permanent resident status (PR).
“Does the number has something to do with the China tourists who was not recorded to have left the country and have stayed to work here illegally?
“The Federal government cannot continue to take risks at making decisions that could jeopardise the sovereignty of the nation,” she said.
Last month, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the Visa On Arrival (VOA) requirements for tourists from China and India may be relaxed in a bid to boost the number of visitors from the two countries in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
He said the move might be implemented this year, but did not specify which of the requirements would be exactly relaxed.