KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Singaporeans travelling to Malaysia are exempt from filling in the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC), which will be compulsory for most foreigners intending to visit the country from January 1 onwards.
The Straits Times reported Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail as affirming the exemption for all Singaporean travellers to Malaysia.
He said the reason was that there were Singaporeans who enter Malaysia (via Johor) on an almost daily basis, and therefore, it is more realistic to exempt them from filling in the MDAC.
“All Singapore citizens will be exempted (from filling up the MDAC),” he was quoted as saying during a media conference at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) yesterday.
The announcement by Saifuddin Nasution yesterday comes days after the Immigration Department said on Facebook that the digital arrival card would be compulsory for all foreign nationals.
This triggered confusion among some Singaporean travellers on whether this would be required of all arrivals, including those driving from Singapore to Johor.
In the same report, Saifuddin Nasution also explained the move as Malaysia’s two land border crossings with Singapore are among the busiest in the world.
He said both the land border crossings had some 135 million transits via the crossings each year, a figure that is expected to increase to 150 million in 2026.
The minister said the exemption for Singaporeans applies at all entry points in Malaysia, and not just at the southern entry points in Johor.
Other travellers exempted include diplomatic passport holders, Malaysian permanent residents, Brunei General Certificate of Identity holders and Thailand Border Pass holders.
Yesterday, the government said foreigners who wish to enter the country are given the flexibility until December 31 to fill in the MDAC at the country’s checkpoints as some visitors only knew about this implementation upon arrival.
However, from January 1, 2024, foreigners will be required to fill in the digital card two or three days before arriving in the country.
On Saturday, the Immigration Department announced that all foreigners who enter Malaysia will have to fill up the MDAC online three days before they arrive, with citizens of 10 countries having the added benefit of using autogates for immigration clearance at KLIA if they meet conditions such as submitting the MDAC.
MDAC is one of the five main initiatives for the improvement of the Immigration Department’s service facilities, in line with the implementation of the Visa Liberalisation Plan (PLV) which exempts tourists from China and India from December 1 from visas for 30 days.