The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs is baffled at the increasingly high number of tourists who have overstayed in the country over the past years.
Many of the overstaying tourists comprise of Chinese and Indian nationals according to the 2018 Auditor-General’s Report Series 2 released on Tuesday (Dec 3).
According to the report, more than 95 percent of Chinese and Indian tourists from 2016 to 2018 had no recorded exit date.
Some 76,258 out of 79,799 Chinese visitors on tourist visas have no record of ever exiting Malaysia.
The claim was contested by Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud who said the actual figures of overstaying Chinese tourists was only 18,341.
He said that the tourists may be using the Electronic Travel Registration & Information (eNTRI) system, a visa-free facility for visitors from China and India.
Tourists using the eNTRI system can apparently affect the monitoring of the regular social visit pass when they exit the country.
Nevertheless, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the overstaying tourists need to be scrutinised by the Malaysian Immigration Department.
“Immigration enforcement action will be taken against them, we want to make sure that when a person is in the country, it must be within the period approved by the Immigration Department,” he said as quoted in an initial report by the Malay Mail . -/TISG