PETALING JAYA: It was plain sailing for Indian national Ruku who arrived in Malaysia using the newly introduced Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) for foreigners.
Ruku, 67, said she did not encounter any issues when travelling with her husband to Malaysia on Saturday.
She said their nephew helped them to fill up the MDAC forms before boarding the flight.
“When we arrived, my husband showed our return tickets and other documents and we were cleared to enter. It didn’t take long at all,” said Ruku, who declined to give her full name.
Starting Dec 1, foreigners entering the country must submit for the MDAC three days prior to their arrival.
Exemption is granted for those from three categories: travellers on transit or transferring through Singapore without seeking immigration clearance; Malaysian permanent residents; and Malaysian Automated Clearance System (MACS) holders.
However, there have been queries, such as those who needed to travel in sudden emergency cases and could not meet the three-day requirement.
When contacted, the Immigration Department said it would be releasing a statement on the matter.
Meanwhile, Consortium of Inbound Tourism Alliance chairman Uzaidi Udanis said consortium members had not encountered any issue with MDAC so far.
There are over 100 members under the consortium.
“We have not received any complaints from consortium members. We used to have hiccups during the Langkawi International Travel Bubble whereby there were issues such as the other countries not knowing that documents for vaccines are needed.
“So for MDAC, I hope the airport authorities will relay the information to the other side,” said Uzaidi yesterday.
He said tourists visiting Malaysia via registered travel agents are not expected to face any issues related to MDAC or their trip as they would be advised accordingly such as on their return ticket requirement, proof of hotel stay and passport validity.
Uzaidi also said the 30-day visa-free travel initiative for visitors from China and India to Malaysia starting Dec 1, which is effective until Dec 31 next year, is an important move to boost tourism.
“It’s important because we want to target high-end visitors such as businessmen from China, for example, to come golfing for the weekend in Malaysia.
“With the visa-free initiative, they can hop on a flight and come here. The impact is there.
“We have received lots of interest and enquiries.
“Our agents are rushing for quotations and bookings will be coming,” he said.