KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 ― Islamist party PAS today demanded Putrajaya cancel its visa waiver programme for Chinese and Indian tourists as part of the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign, until an ongoing problem of overstaying migrants from the two Asian giants are resolved.
Its deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man insisted more than 95 per cent of Chinese and Indian tourists overstayed from 2016 to 2018 and said the federal government must deal with this first, citing national security.
“The real figure exposed by the Malaysian Immigration System (MyIMMs) is more than 115,000 individuals. The Auditor-General’s Report 2018 Second Series have also found around 1.26 Chinese nationals and 296,000 Indian nationals are being processed manually under MyIMMs.
“The vast amount of overstayed Chinese and Indian nationals living in this country must be resolved as soon as possible. Security issues have become top priority when compared to tourist numbers under Visit Malaysia Year 2020,” said Tuan Ibrahim.
The Kubang Kerian MP pointed out that the special visa exemption that was granted to Chinese and Indian citizens in 2016 and 2017 should have been stopped to resolve their “residential” status here.
He said that PAS does not want the federal government to compromise and take the easy way out regarding foreigners entering the country.
“The critical problem that we are facing is the serious weakness found in implementing the Electronic Travel Registration and Information (eNTRI) system and also MyIMMs during the tourists’ entry process,” said Tuan Ibrahim.
The Opposition lawmaker pointed to the recent bust of fraud and identity card scams by syndicates led by nationals from China operating in Malaysia.
On December 29, 2019, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was exercising the functions of the Home Minister had stated that tourists from China and India will be able to visit Malaysia without a tourist visa next year.
Throughout 2020, they will be able to enter the country for up to 15 days by using the electronic travel registration and information system ― either individually or through travel agencies in their respective countries.
However, the tourists must enter and exit Malaysia only through authorised airports or entry points.
Upon arrival, they must produce proof of sufficient cash for expenses, credit card or bank card, and produce their travel itinerary in Malaysia. They should also have a valid return ticket.
According to a statement from the government, these tourists will be able to travel to Malaysia three months after registration.