The Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz had announced in June 2015 that the Cabinet had agreed to waive Visa requirement for group tourists from the People’s Republic China (PRC) effective from 1 September 2015.
The officers of Tourism Malaysia (TM) including yours truly have conveyed the good news to the tour operators and tourists in China about the above concession granted by our government and that the detail mechanism will be set by Immigration Department in due course.
The tour operators and tourists were pleased with the said announcement and they wanted to know about the mechanism, which TM was in no position to provide.
After a long wait of three months, late evening of yesterday (26-8-2015), which was 5 days before 1st September 2015, TM has been formally informed by KDN that it had finally agreed to waive the requirement of Visa for group tourists from PRC effective from 1st October, 2015, subject to the following conditions:
Waiving of Visa / Temporary Social Pass will only be granted to group tourists from RRC traveling with tour operators registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (KPK) and the group must consist of at least 20.
The Temporary Social Pass will be limited to 15 days for each entry into Malaysia and no extension will be granted;
The approved entry points are by air transport via KLIA, KLIA-2, airports in Penang, Senai, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi;
The said Temporary Social Pass holders will not be allowed to apply for other Permits or Passes;
This Social Pass will only be granted for those traveling on a direct flight from PRC to Malaysia and they must have a return flight ticket;
The applicants for the Temporary Social Pass must provide proof in the forms of cash, credit card, ATM with the logo UnionPay and place of abode at the time of arrival;
In the event that any tourist under this category failed to return or violated any conditions or regulations set by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the tour operator will be fined in the sum of RM1,500 per tourist and if any tour operators have violated the above conditions for three times or more then it will be black listed and they will not be allowed to bring in any tourists from China; and
KPK have to submit weekly report on the black listed tour operators to the Immigration Department for actions to be taken against them.
SPPV One Stop Center
It must be noted that under normal circumstances every tourist from PRC had to pay visa application fees of RMB80 Malaysian Government and on top of that the applicant had to pay another RMB120 as Service Fees to a strange outfit known as SPPV One Stop Center.
This SPPV One Stop Centere has been jointly operated by Ultra Kinrana Sdn Bhd and Beijing Lingxiang International Entry & Exit Service Co Ltd.
This SPPV One Stop Center has processed a minimum of 1,500 applicants daily! It has been operated by these two companies for many years.
In the spirit of wooing tourists to our country, yours truly hopes that the group tourists will be also be exempted from paying the Service Charge of RMB120, which is higher than the Visa Fees charged by the Malaysian Government. Our Government should also look into waiving of Visa for tourists from India.
SPPV One Stop Center deserves a separate posting for discussion in the near future.