SINGAPORE: Singaporeans who frequent Johor, especially for holidays, daily groceries and relaxation, can now apply for fast-track entry into Malaysia through the state without getting their passport stamped and completing the immigration arrival card.Johor Immigration director Mohd Nasri Ishak said they could now apply for the facility that used the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) which was introduced in July last year.
Briefing Singapore tourism industry players on the MACS here yesterday, Mohd Nasri said the Malaysian government decided last December to extend further the facility to ordinary Singaporeans to ease their travel into the country.
The MACS was first introduced on July 16 for fast-track immigration clearance for foreign investors, businessmen and professionals to support the economic development of Johor’s Iskandar Region.
It is also given to Singaporeans who have been issued with the relevant long-term immigration pass and frequently travel within Malaysia and Singapore for the purpose of working, studying and staying in Malaysia.
Mohd Nasri said to be eligible for the facility, Singapore passport holders must make the minimum journey of four times into Malaysia in a month. He said upon approval, a sticker embedded with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip would be attached to the passport that could then be used on dedicated MACS lanes at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar immigration checkpoints in Johor Baharu and Tanjung Kupang respectively to enter and exit the country via Johor.
A fee of RM30 will be charged for each application and although the sticker is valid for a year, MACS holders can remain in Malaysia according to the duration stated in the relevant immigration pass issued.
Mohd Nasri said spouses and dependants of MACS holders could also apply for the facility with the condition that they had been issued with the relevant immigration pass. Since the MACS was introduced, the department had approved 1,075 applications, he added.
Immigration data showed that on average, about 20,000 Singaporeans entered Johor via the two southern checkpoints daily last year.
Mohd Nasri said for more details on the MACS facility, Singaporean applicants could access its website at www.imi.gov.my or www.iskandarmalaysia.com.my. Earlier, Tourism Malaysia director in Singapore, Zalizam Zakaria said Singaporeans contributed 53.9 per cent of international tourist arrivals in Malaysia last year.
He said compared with about 11 million in 2008, 12.7 million Singaporeans visited Malaysia last year, exceeding the 12 million target, and hoped the number would increase further to 13 million. — Bernama