SEPANG: Talk about perfect timing.
Chinese national Jimmy Shi was in transit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday evening en route to Guangzhou, China, from Adelaide, Australia, where he is studying.
Mindful of Malaysia’s announcement that visitors from China and Malaysia are allowed 30-day visa-free travel starting yesterday, Shi decided to stay a few hours longer at the airport until the official implementation of the visa-free entry.
As such, following a flight rescheduling, the Guangzhou native now has a chance to explore Kuala Lumpur.
“I plan to experience the culture here,” said Shi, 25.
And if he had a good time, he said that he would consider taking advantage of the visa-free entry to visit Malaysia again in the future.
Expressing his delight with Malaysia’s visa-free entry for Chinese nationals, Shi said it was convenient and gave him a chance to experience Malaysia for the first time.
Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced a 30-day visa-free travel for visitors from China and India to Malaysia starting Dec 1.
The visa liberalisation plan is effective until Dec 31 next year.
However, not all Chinese nationals were informed about the entry conditions.
On a flight from Guangzhou to Kuala Lumpur yesterday, a Chinese tourist was temporarily unable to enter Malaysia because he did not have a return ticket.
He told immigration officers that he had cancelled his return ticket to China due to the visa-free measure and that he planned to visit Thailand before returning to China.
Without a return ticket, the Malaysian immigration could not allow him entry then.
But another visitor, lawyer June Lee from Guangzhou, found his entry to be a smooth process.
Lee, 43, who is part of a group on a business trip, said they had applied for Malaysian visas prior to their arrival here.
“However, upon arrival, immigration officers did not check our visas and allowed us to enter after inquiring about our purpose of visit, return tickets and hotel accommodation,” he said.
He also said that many Malaysians whom he encountered here, including immigration officers, were proficient in Chinese.
This, he said, led to a smooth and warm welcome for him.
A visitor from India, Akshita Gopal, 23, who entered Malaysia as part of a dance troupe, was also happy with the arrival process.
Her group members had obtained visas prior to their arrival here, she said.
However, she said immigration officers did not check this at the airport.
After asking about their itinerary, they were allowed to enter, she added.
Akshita, who was pleased with the experience, said they would take the opportunity to do some sight-seeing in Kuala Lumpur.