Malaysia to grant visa exemption for China group tourists

Malaysia to grant visa exemption for China group tourists
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - Group tourists from China travelling to Malaysia will be granted a temporary social pass or visa exemption for 15 days, from Oct 1.

Tourism Malaysia chairman Wee Choo Keong, in a statement Thursday, said the Home Ministry had finally agreed to the move on Wednesday.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz announced in June that the Cabinet had agreed to grant the visa-free facility to group tourists from the China effective Sept 1, but it has now been postponed to Oct 1.

"Visa-free or temporary social pass will only be granted to tourists from China travelling with tour operators registered with the Tourism and Culture Ministry. The group must consist of at least 20 people.

"The temporary social pass will be limited to 15 days for each entry into Malaysia and no extension will be granted," said Wee.

The approved entry points are at KLIA and KLIA2 as well as airports in Penang, Senai, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi.

Wee said temporary social pass holders will not be allowed to apply for other permits or passes and the pass will only be granted for those traveling on a direct flight from China to Malaysia. The tourists must also have a return flight ticket.

"The applicants for the temporary social pass must provide proof in the forms of cash, credit card, ATM with the logo UnionPay and place of residence at the time of arrival.

"In the event that any tourist under this category fails to return or violates any conditions or regulations set by the ministry, the tour operator will be fined RM1,500 per tourist.

"In addition, any tour operator that violates the above conditions three times or more will be blacklisted and not permitted to bring in any more tourists from China.

"The ministry must submit weekly reports of the black-listed tour operators to the Immigration Department for further action," he said.

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