KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Singaporeans head the list of 26 million tourist arrivals to the country according to the Immigration Department’s latest statistics recorded from January 1 to November 15 this year.

Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said he hoped tourist arrivals will continue to increase following the implementation of the 30-day visa exemption for travellers from China and India from December 1.

“So, we hope for the best and that we can increase the number of tourists, especially after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced visa exemptions for China and India for 30 days beginning December 1,” he told the media after the Malaysia Batik Day Celebration walkabout session at the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex here today.

According to statistics released, the highest number of tourists were from Singapore at 12,645,364 tourists, followed by Indonesia (3,166,295), Thailand (2,073,162), China (1,407,471), Brunei (904,841) and India (780,532) while the rest are from other countries.


Meanwhile, in efforts to strengthen bilateral ties between Malaysia and China in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year, a series of special batik collections will be introduced by Motac and Kraftangan Malaysia.

“We will most probably have a series of special design collections for both countries and also see how we can run a one-year promotion in China, as well as study if they can also promote their clothes such as cheongsams or others to us,” he said.

In the meantime, Kraftangan Malaysia director-general Ainu Sham Ramli hopes the Rahmah Batik Sales, launched in conjunction with Malaysian Batik Day Celebration today, can provide the public with an opportunity to buy batik at a price of less than RM100.


“We will hold special offers, in collaboration with batik entrepreneurs so that customers can buy more affordable batik items,” she said.

She added that this year’s celebration is being held for five days from November 30 till tomorrow (December 4), with targeted sales of RM1 million.

The Malaysian Batik Day Celebration is being held for the third time.

Kraftangan Malaysia has also recorded an increase in the number of entrepreneurs by three per cent (3), from 797 last year to 820 this year. — Bernama