The Malaysian government has released two gazettes granting tourists from China and India a 15-day visa exemption from 1 January to 31 December 2020
According to Malaysiakini, the gazettes, dated 26 December 2019, states that the tourists from these two countries must be registered through an "electronic travel registration and information system", also known as eNTRI.
The eNTRI visa is valid for three months and allows a 15-day stay, which cannot be extended.
Tourists entering and exiting from Malaysia would have to go through authorised airports or through the immigration control posts
- Sultan Iskandar building in Johor
- Johor Bahru railway station
- Johor Immigration control post at Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar
- Tanjung Kupang, Johor
- Padang Besar, Perlis
- Bukit Kayu Itam, Changloon, Kedah
- Sungai Tujoh, Sarawak
- Immigration control post at Tedungan in Limbang, Fifth Division, Sarawak
Upon arrival, they must provide proof of sufficient money, credit card, or bank card, as well as produce their travel itinerary in Malaysia
The gazettes for tourists from China and India also states that they can re-apply for the same short-term visa 45 days after leaving Malaysia, but may not apply for any other passes under the Immigration Regulations 1963.
The statements were signed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, exercising the functions of the Minister of Home Affairs.
In response to this, Umno supreme council member Razlan Rafii questioned why such visas were being granted
It was previously reported that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) was concerned over the large number of Chinese and Indian tourists who have overstayed in the country.
According to Malaysiakini, Razlan cited a report by the National Audit Department which stated that more than 95 percent of from tourists from China and India had no exit records from 2016 to 2018.
However, Immigration Department director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud assured that the figures were wrong, explaining that only 23 percent of China tourists had no exist records due to them entering Malaysia under a special visa system, but exiting as regular tourists on a social visit pass.
The eNTRI visa was first introduced in 2015 under Barisan National
During its introduction phase, while it was meant only for Chinese tourists, the eNTRI visa was widened to include Indian tourists in 2017.
Earlier this year, the eNTRI visa was suspended for a brief period between 1 January to 10 January following media reports about possible weaknesses in the system.
According to a report in The Star, the suspension was lifted on 11 January after it had raised concerns among players in the tourism industry of a drop in arrivals from China.
Meanwhile, this visa exemption is said to be in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020
Following complaints about Chinese nationals acting insensitively in front of a mosque, China has promised that they will be taught to behave: