Malaysia revoked its visa on arrival (VOA) facility for Indians after 40,000 visitors from that country “abused” it and “disappeared”, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyideein Yassin has said.
The cases of Indians abusing the scheme topped the list of unauthorised immigrants from eight South Asian nations and China to whom the VOA was offered.
The Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers and Illegal Immigrants felt that it needed to be revoked as it brought certain problems for the country.
“In the past, we gave flexibility to several nations. If their citizens came to this country and they didn’t have a visa, one could be issued at the entry point,” he said after chairing the committee meeting on Monday. “We have noticed that this was being abused.”
Apart from Indians, the facility was extended to tourists from China, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myan­mar, Taiwan and Comoros.
It has been reported that thousands of tourists have abused their VOA, which was introduced in 2006 in conjunction with Visit Malay­sia Year 2007, by overstaying.
In February, the government suspended the facility for visitors from India following reports that the highest number of VOA abuse involved citizens from that country.