BUKIT KAYU HITAM — Dec. 3, 2019: The government is concerned over the high number of tourists from China and India who have overstayed in the country, as stated in the 2018 Auditor-General’s Report Series 2.
But whatever the position, a question that needs to be asked is the conflicting numbers stated in the report and from a statement by the Immigration director-general.
The audit mentioned that there was no record of exit dates for more than 95 per cent of Chinese and Indian tourists who visited the country between 2016 and last year.
During that period, of 79,799 Chinese tourist arrivals, it was found that 76,258 had no record of exit dates.
However, Immigration chief Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the figures were inaccurate, citing the correct number of Chinese tourists who did not exit as 18,341.
According to Khairul, the difference may be due to the fact that they were using the Electronic Travel Registration & Information system, a visa-free facility for visitors from China and India.
Thus when someone leaves the country using the normal system, using a regular social visit pass, there are drawbacks in the technical system that leads to the difference.
Immigration will meet the National Audit Department on this.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he had referred the matter to Immigration for scrutiny.
“Some things can be explained… what is important is when tourists overstay and do not go back, Immigration will want to know where they are,” said Muhyiddin after an event at the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security Complex here today.
The complex has an anti-climb type security fence, about 300 high-definition closed-circuit cameras and cargo scanners mounted on heavy vehicle lanes.