MAKING A POINT: Azmi speaking to reporters in Beijing yesterday with Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi beside him. — APpic
BY HOO BAN KHEE The Star
BEIJING: Chinese nationals wishing to visit Malaysia can make online visa applications and pay the visa fee using credit cards when the system is up in two months, Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said.
He told a packed media conference that this was the latest measure to encourage more Chinese to visit Malaysia. Currently, they would have to submit their applications at consulates located here, in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming.
Azmi said an applicant could expect a response within 24 hours. The successful applicant would be given a number to be presented together with the passport on arrival at KL International Airport.
Those without credit card or online facilities could go through authorised travel agents in their areas.
Azmi led a 14-member delegation to China to assuage Chinese concerns arising from a recent spate of bad press involving Chinese nationals.
He said Malaysia valued Chinese tourists, and incentives, including a US$1mil (RM3.78mil) “Ang Pau” contest, had been announced.
Azmi advised Chinese nationals to go through authorised travel agents so that they would not be cheated or be trapped by human trafficking syndicates.
He said only four job areas in Malaysia were open to Chinese nationals at the moment.
They are: highly-skilled furniture makers; construction workers engaged by Chinese companies doing projects in Malaysia; professionals such as engineers and computers experts under the expatriate group; and students, who are now allowed to work part-time.
“Any other employment is illegal. Do not believe anything else that people may say,” Azmi said.
Azmi said he had apologised for the incidences of rape, robbery and murders involving Chinese nationals, which were committed by criminals.
The cases had been dealt with in accordance with the law, he added.
To a question, Azmi said Malaysian laws did not allow the police to check tourists, unless on suspicion of drug offences.
On the case of a fair skinned woman asked to do ear squats, he said: “This lady could have been suspected of carrying drugs and the squatting was to make her eject any drug hidden inside the body.”
“We still do not know whether she is a Malaysian or foreigner.
“Even if she is an illegal, I will give her a pass to stay in Malaysia so that she can be a witness,” he added.