KUALA LUMPUR: Tourists from China coming into Malaysia still need to register despite not needing to apply for tourist visa, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the special requirement was sought by China to ensure its citizens inside Malaysia abide by the stated duration of stay.
"We have implemented this but their government asked for their citizens' entry into Malaysia be registered.
"The authorities in China are informed as their citizens only have a 15-day visa.
"After that period expires, they need to go back to their country of origin," he said in reply to a question from Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang) on whether the government had plans to exempt the visa for tourists from China.
Zahid said the Chinese embassy in Malaysia was also taking proactive measures this year with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to draw at least three million tourists to Malaysia.
Earlier, Zahid said Malaysia had issued 734,364 electronic visas or e-visas introduced for 10 countries on May 1 last year.
He said the facility enabled foreign nationals to apply for the visa to enter Malaysia without having to go to the respective Malaysian missions.
Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said Malaysia had the collaboration of Interpol and Aseanapol in monitoring the use of these e-visas.
“We will also implement the Advance Passenger Screening System (APSS) which will further strengthen control and ensure that there is no compromise in terms of the security aspects,” he said when replying to a question from Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) on Malaysia’s initiative to facilitate the visa application to draw more tourists, especially from China and India, in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020. — Reporting by : Syed Umar Ariff; Nazura Ngah; Hidir Reduan; Fairul Asmaini Mohd Pilus; Veena Babulal; Luqman Arif Abdul Karim dan Ahmad Suhael Adnan.