The government needs more time to study Thailand’s visa proposal for six countries

BANGKOK (April 21): Malaysia needs more time to consider Thailand’s proposal on a joint visa program with six other ASEAN countries to attract more foreign tourists to the region.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the proposal was still in the early stages of discussion and Malaysia needed to obtain more information on it.

“Thailand wants to benefit from the cooperation between six ASEAN countries, which has potential in tourism and economy. But Malaysia always seeks a balance between economic potential and the importance of maintaining national security,” he said. Bernama recently.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has previously proposed a ‘Schengen’ or joint visa initiative with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam to further boost the tourism sector in the six member states, which together counted 70 million foreign tourists in 2023. .

In another development, Saifuddin said Malaysia is making several recommendations to China to extend the tourist visa for Malaysians from the current 15 days to 30 days.

He said the proposal would first be submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for approval.

Since December 1, Malaysia has introduced a 30-day visa waiver for Chinese citizens, while the Chinese government has granted a 15-day visa waiver for travelers from Malaysia.