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Show compassion, govt urged
Published on: Sunday, February 09, 2020
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KOTA KINABALU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) appealed to the federal and state governments to be more lenient in granting visa extension for Chinese tourists stranded in the country. 

Central Youth Movement Leader Sim Fui said Chinese tourists who were healthy and showed no symptoms of the coronavirus should be allowed to extend their stay in Malaysia on humanitarian grounds in view of the ongoing outbreak in China. 

“This is not how you treat an old friend. Malaysia and China have endured 40 years of diplomatic ties but instead of reaching out to China in the coronavirus outbreak, our government has taken drastic action to deny the Chinese citizens from extending their stay in the country.” 

On the contrary, Sim said Indonesia has offered to extend the visas of Chinese tourists who were stranded in the country even though the nation did not have the decades-long friendship like China and Malaysia. 

Despite precautionary measures taken by the government to prohibit Chinese tourists from entering Malaysia, Sim said there were still a sizeable number of China nationals stranded in our country.  

“These tourists have passed the health screening for coronavirus and they should be granted longer extension of their visa instead of expelling them from Malaysia.”

Sim urged the government to empathise with the dilemma of the Chinese tourists, who could not return home even though their visas have expired because many Chinese cities were under lockdown. 

“It is regrettable that the Malaysian government deny them the option to stay on in our country when they need it the most,” he said. 

“By granting the Chinese tourists longer extension of their visa for another 30 to 90 days, the government will not only fulfil its humanitarian obligation, but also mitigate the impact of coronavirus across the services sector, including the tourism industry, that will be gravely affected by expelling the tourists.”

He said the people appreciated the precautionary measures taken by the government, but the tourism and services sectors would suffer if Malaysia closed our doors on Chinese tourists. 

In view of the Visit Malaysia Year 2020, Sim said the government should demonstrate its hospitality to foreign tourists.

 

“However, our government wastes no time in drawing the boundary with Chinese tourists when they are in trouble.

Hence, Sim strongly urged the State Government, especially the Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew, to consider offering Chinese tourists extension on their visas for them to stay in our country until the lockdown on the Chinese cities have been lifted. 

“This will also benefit the services sector in Sabah, which has suffered major losses due to the absence of Chinese tourists.”


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