SEPANG: The process of issuing the Not to Land (NTL) order and the standard operating procedure (SOP) used for tourists to Malaysia will remain and will not be compromised despite the improvement to the immigration facilities under the visa liberalisation plan being implemented from today, said Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.
This, he said, refutes allegations by certain parties that the visa liberalisation plan would lead to procedures for foreign tourists entering Malaysia becoming simpler and more lax.
“Under this plan, the process of entering Malaysia and the existing SOP will be implemented, (with) no change.
“Many on the outside say that when we carry out this liberalisation, all the other processes will be simplified, no. Here at the immigration, we stay the same,” he told reporters after observing the Immigration Department’s (JIM) operations at the arrival hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Terminal 1 here today.
The procedures, among others, require tourists entering Malaysia to possess return flight tickets and hotel reservations or a place to stay throughout their stay in Malaysia.
Ruslin said the department had also established a special team, comprising 25 enforcement personnel, to monitor the entry and departure of tourists.
“This special team will present a report every fortnightly to ensure tourists remain in Malaysia based on the validity of their visa, either 30 days or 60 days,” he said.
On Nov 27, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the visa liberalisation plan would be strengthened with integrated security and enforcement measures by enforcement agencies, including monitoring the departure of tourists from China and India.
This is in line with the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Nov 26 that the government would allow 30-day visa-free travel for visitors from China and India to Malaysia from Dec 1 in the spirit of the strategic partnership of Malaysia-China bilateral relations, which will span 50 years next year.
The initiatives under the visa liberalisation plan, among others, include the provision of a 30-day Multiple Entry Visa (MEV) to all tourists wanting to come to Malaysia, Social Visit Pass (Long Term) for periods of up to 12 months for international students who have completed their studies in Malaysia to further their studies, for touring and working part-time.
The visa liberalisation plan is also aimed at generating the country’s revenues to ensure Malaysia remain a leader in the main industry of investment and tourism in the Asian region.
Meanwhile, JIM statistics recorded the arrival of 26 million foreigners to Malaysia from Jan 1 to Nov 15, with tourists from Singapore totalling 12.6 million, followed by Indonesia (3.1 million) and Thailand (2.07 million).
A total of 47,060 foreign tourists were issued with the NTL during the same period, with Indonesians recording the highest number of 15,984 people, followed by Bangladesh (6,906).–Bernama