Malaysia scraps visa on arrival facility for Indians, Chinese

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

PUTRAJAYA - Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said the visa-on-arrival (VOA) facility offered to visitors from eight countries, including India has been scrapped permanently because it was open to abuse.

The facility was extended to tourists from China, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myan-mar, Taiwan and Comoros.

He said despite calls by several quarters for the facility to be continued, the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants felt that it needed to be revoked as it brought certain problems for the country.

“In the past, we gave flexibility to several nations. If their citizens came to this country and they didn’t have a visa, one could be issued at the entry point,” The Star quoted Yassin, as saying.

“We have noticed that this was being abused. We (the Cabinet committee) agreed that the VOA facility be revoked or discontinued,” he said after the committee meeting.

It has been reported that thousands of tourists have abused their VOA, which was introduced in 2006 in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007, by overstaying.

In February, the Government suspended the facility for visitors from India following reports that the highest number of VOA abuse involved citizens from that country.

Last January, Prime Minsiter Najib Tun Razak had expressed concern over the “disappearance” of almost 40,000 Indian nationals who had entered the country through the VOA facility. (ANI)

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