Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Visa-on-arrival Programme Abused

3,000 visitors abused visa-on-arrival programme

PUTRAJAYA: Nearly 3,000 foreigners have abused the visa-on-arrival programme that was introduced on Sept 1 to mainly attract more tourists into the country in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said all had overstayed.
He said the Immigration enforcement division was now trying to track them down, which he admitted was a difficult task.

“We have been generous to them by charging RM100 and giving them one month to visit the country, but they have taken advantage of our kindness and refused to go home,” he said.

“How to trace them easily, they look like Malays, Indians and Chinese of this country?” he said.
Radzi said the visa-on-arrival was introduced only for tourists from 24 countries that required a visa to enter Malaysia with hopes to attract 21 million tourists under the VMY campaign.

He said among the 2,872 who had overstayed, 1,941 were from India, 355 from China, and 199 from Sri Lanka. Others are from Bangladesh (194), Pakistan (113), Myanmar (27), Nepal (23), Democratic Republic of Congo (six), Nigeria (two), and 12 are from other countries.

Asked if the visa-on-arrival would be continued despite the problem, he said it would continue but would be reviewed at the same time.

News Source : STAR
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