New Straits Times

Zahid: Tourists from China must register upon arrival

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KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia need to register despite them not having to apply for tourist visas, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The deputy prime minister and home minister said the special requiremen­t of having to register was requested by China to ensure its citizens in Malaysia did not overstay.

“We implemente­d this (the novisa policy), but the Chinese government asked for its citizens’ entry (to Malaysia) be registered.

“We agreed and informed the Chinese authoritie­s about their citizens’ visit to Malaysia which allowed them to stay for 15 days.

“After 15 days, they need to go back to their country of origin,” he said.

Zahid was answering a supplement­ary question from Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang) during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat.

Fong had asked what considerat­ions were given to tourists from China.

In answering the initial question from Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong), Zahid said the implementa­tion of the electronic visa (e-Visa) had so far been beneficial.

The availabili­ty of online applicatio­ns for visas, he said, had managed to reduce logistical problems for applicants.

“Applicants no longer need to go to our representa­tive’s office to apply for a visa... they can apply online and print it out themselves.

“As of (Monday), we have issued 734,364 such visas — 406,750 for the whole of 2017 and 68,815 so far this year.”

Touching on the monitoring mechanisms involved, Zahid said every foreign tourist entering the country must go through the Advance Passenger Screening System.

He said this was in line with government efforts to strengthen security at every entry point of entry in Malaysia.

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