Huazong calls for 30-day visa extension for stranded Chinese tourists

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 06 Feb 2020

KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) is appealing to the government to grant a 30-day maximum visa extension nationwide to China tourists stranded in Malaysia in view of the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

Its president Tan Sri T.C Goh said on Thursday (Feb 6) that such a move was necessary to better facilitate their return home.

He hoped both the federal and the state governments could work on this and come up with a unified measure.

Goh, who is also the president of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS), was responding to the state government’s announcement of a seven-day visa extension for Chinese tourists currently stranded in Sabah.

He is of the view that granting seven days was insufficient.

He suggested that the state Immigration Department go to the ground to better understand and assess the dilemma facing the Chinese tourists.

“We understand that some of the China tourists who are currently vacationing in Sabah may not wish to return to their country due to the virus outbreak at home.

"If this is the case, then the government should consider granting them a longer extension of their visa.

"We believe their temporary stay in Sabah or other parts of the country would help boost the tourism industry here, which is already affected by travelling restrictions imposed by many countries, China and Malaysia included,” he said in a statement.

On Tuesday (Feb 4), Chinese tourists when met at the state Immigration Department office complained that their pleas for longer visa extension fell on deaf ears.

One family from Wuhan, with two senior citizens, did not want to risk going back so soon as many who died from the coronavirus were those in 60s and above.

Goh said the health of Chinese tourists stranded in Malaysia was not an issue as they had been screened.

"We hope the relevant authorities could take this into consideration and grant them a 30-day visa extension.

"We also hope the Sabah government pays serious attention to the recent statement by the China Consulate General office in Kota Kinabalu that a few thousand Chinese tourists were stranded in the state following the state government’s temporary suspension of all direct commercial flights from China.

“All quarters must continue to have good cooperation to ensure that whatever issues facing our valued visitors are promptly and effectively resolved in a courteous manner,” he said.
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abah , visa , China , coronavirus , Huazong , tourists


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