Tourism minister: Visa-free policy for Chinese visitors successful, beneficial for both countries


(From right) Kevin, Tiong, Lau and Kapitan Wong Hua in a group photo during the PDP CNY open house. – Photo by Watt Zacchaeus

SIBU (Feb 12): The 30-day visa-free policy for Chinese visitors has proven to be successful and beneficial for both Malaysia and China, said Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said Malaysia has registered a 35-per cent increase in Chinese tourist arrivals in December alone last year following the implementation of the visa-free policy that same month.

“On Dec 1 and 2 last year, there were 276 (individuals) or 100 per cent increase in Chinese tourists arriving on a flight from Shenyang.

“So it is proven that if we have the visa-free policy, it gives a lot of convenience to both sides,” he told reporters when met during Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Chinese New Year (CNY) open house at Pulau Li Hua here today.

On that note, Tiong said Malaysia already has provided free visas to a lot of other countries.

“Unless there are security issues then the Home Ministry will need to sort it out from there,” he added.

On the open house, he said it was proof of harmony and unity among the multiracial and multi-religious Malaysians.

“Let’s not dwell on race issues and do not spread baseless stories that could discord our unity,” he said.

Among those attending the PDP CNY open house were Sibu Chinese community leader Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau, Councillor Kevin Lau, Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and wife Datin Sri Pauline Leong, Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) deputy chairman Mohammed Abdullah Izkandar Roseley, Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Alice Lau, and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Dudong branch chairman Wong Ching Yong.