Malaysia, China to ensure security not compromised by visa-free travel

Malaysia, China to ensure security not compromised by visa-free travel
Zahid (left) with Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya in Beijing.

BEIJING: Malaysia will work together with Chinese authorities to ensure that security is not jeopardised with the implementation of visa waiver for Chinese tourists to Malaysia, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Deputy Prime Minister added that China would be providing Malaysia with suspects' lists and biometric data.

"While we want Chinese tourists to come, both countries have to look at the issues of transnational crime and terrorism so that we will not be caught in a snare as a result of the relaxed visa requirements," he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, was speaking to reporters after visiting the Malaysian visa processing centre here on Tuesday morning.

Besides updating Chinese authorities officially on the latest visa arrangements, he said he would also hold discussions with his counterpart, Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun, and Communist Party's Central Political and Legal Affairs secretary Meng Jiangzhu, on handling transnational crime and terrorism.

"We do not want Malaysia to become a transit point for Chinese suspects to go to a third country," he said.

Malaysia has rolled out several measures to facilitate visa applications in order to attract more Chinese tourists, including waiving visa fees last year and introducing electronic visas earlier this year.

Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that tourists from China would be exempted from tourist visas from March 1 to Dec 31.

This is applicable to tourists travelling in groups of two or more for a period of less than 15 days. They also have to book their tours via authorised travel agencies.

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