Malaysians may soon be able to visit China without any visa requirement, said Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang. Speaking during the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce’s 25th anniversary dinner here, Dr Huang promised that China would fully cooperate with Malaysia to make the dream of travelling to the country visa-free come true. “When you want to go, you can go anytime without any visa requirement. Let us work together towards this goal,” he said.
However, he hoped the Malaysian Government would reciprocate, by taking a bigger step to ensure everyone from mainland China could visit Malaysia visa-free as well. Dr Huang said the Chinese people loved visiting Malaysia for its culture and environment and the good relationship between both nations. “In spite of the MH370 incident, Chinese tourists are still coming to Malaysia and we hope the Malaysian Government can move forward in exempting the visa,” he said.
Dr Huang believed that both sides could come up with a conclusion to open up their countries’ gates to each other soon. “Now, the Malaysian Government is providing visa-free travel for tour groups on a temporary basis. We want Malaysia to make a final decision and do away with the requirement for all Chinese tourists. Then, we can sit down to discuss how we can take some reciprocal measures for Malaysia,” he said.
Dr Huang said the Chinese embassy and its consulates-general in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang were taking measures to make travel more convenient for Malaysians to China. “It is time for both sides to do away with the visa but not now,” he said.
It was reported that the Government had agreed to grant visa exemption for Chinese tour groups on a trial basis for one year. Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced that the move was decided by the Cabinet last week and the implementation date would be announced by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
Tourism Malaysia industry development division director Saidi Bundan had said more work needed to be done to attract Chinese tourists back to Malaysia following the MH370 incident. He said the case had cast a pall over arrivals from China, which recorded a 27% drop in the first three months of this year compared to 2014. – TheStar.