The Malaysian government is considering allowing visa-on-arrivals (VoAs) for Chinese nationals in Brunei, including expatriates who are based there or travellers who are there for a holiday and want to extend their holiday in Malaysia.
Currently VoA facilities are given to Chinese nationals who are based in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia and want to visit Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry’s secretary-general, Isham Ishak, shared that the ministry has proposed this idea to the home ministry and is waiting for an outcome.
Explaining the rationale of proposing such a move, Tourism Malaysia’s director-general Musa Yusof shared that there are 90,000 Chinese expatriates working in Brunei. Moreover, Chinese tourists are also the second largest inbound market to Brunei, after Malaysia. He added that Chinese nationals in Brunei who wish to extend their stay in Malaysia currently have to return to China, and apply online for an e-visa.
Musa opined that allowing Chinese tourists and expatriates to obtain VoAs at entry points near the Malaysia-Brunei border such as Sungai Tujoh in Miri would help increase tourist arrivals from China to Malaysia.
Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) president, Uzaidi Udanis, has voiced his support for the ministry’s initiative and hoped the VoA proposal for Chinese nationals based in Brunei would materialise.
He said: “Miri and the surrounding areas would benefit from such a move. This will help spur tourism in Miri, which has a lot of good hotels and thrives on the oil and gas industry. It will also help to increase arrivals from China next year, where Malaysia is targeting a record eight million arrivals from China, in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020.”