Malaysia will once again offer transit travellers from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh a chance to visit the country without the need for a visa.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government, had decided to reinstate from July 1 the “transit without visa” offer to travellers from the four countries after considering the advantage it would offer in terms of attracting more tourists from the region.
He added Malaysia previously offered a similar privilege to travellers from the Indian sub-continent but it was later revoked. “The Home Ministry has suggested some methods that will avoid abuse of the facility.
“We will discuss them with our local airline companies as we will need their cooperation for the offer to work,” he told a press conference after chairing the Cabinet Committee on Tourism meeting here yesterday. He said the details of how the offer would work and conditions would be announced soon.
It is understood that Malaysia is targeting an additional 8,000 to 10,000 visitors this year through the move that will only be offered to travellers with tickets for connecting flights.
Muhyiddin said the committee also agreed yesterday to the Tourism Ministry’s proposal to increase accessibility to the country and had asked local airlines like Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and AirAsia-X to seek more landing rights abroad. He added the committee had asked for promotions to attract tourists from the Middle East during the fasting month of Ramadan.
The committee also endorsed the proposal to add parks and gardens in Malaysia to the list of tourism sites and asked the ministry to work with the Housing and Local Government Ministry to look into upgrading them.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen later told reporters that parks and gardens were not listed as tourist attractions even though there were many travellers who loved visiting such places.