SEPANG: In an effort to ease mobility at the country's borders, Singaporean passport holders and selected pass holders from Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia are exempted from filling up the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC).
Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the decision was made based on feedback received and taking into account the distinctive mobility patterns of travellers who cross the country's borders virtually everyday.
"The ministry has decided that some of these categories are granted exemptions to fill in the MDAC. They include all Singaporean citizens, Diplomatic and Official Passports holders,
Malaysian Permanent Residents and Malaysian Long-Term Pass holders, Brunei Common Certificate of Identification (GCI), Brunei Malaysia Frequent Traveller Programme participants, Thailand Border Pass holders and Indonesian Cross Border Pass (PLB) holders.
"They usually cross the country's borders on a regular basis, so it is realistic to exempt them due to their distinctive pattern of mobility," he said at a press conference after conducting a visit to the Immigration Department counters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Terminal 1, here.
Also present was Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.
Saifuddin added that the exemptions were offered to reflect how Malaysians working in Singapore did not need to fill out Singapore's digital arrival card while entering the country.
Previously, the MDAC exemption only applied to those individuals transiting through Singapore, individuals with Permanent Resident (PR) status and holders of the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) card.
The MDAC, which is part of the five main initiatives to improve the Immigration Department services, is in line with the implementation of the visa liberalisation plan, which exempts a 30-day visa for tourists from China and India.
The Immigration Department said the new regulation, which came into effect last Friday, was however exempted for those transiting through Singapore, individuals with Permanent Resident (PR) status and holders of the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS) card.
The 30-day visa exemption for tourists from China and India covers the period from Dec 1, 2023, to Dec 31, 2024, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last Tuesday.
Currently, Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iraq, and Iran, as well as all West Asian countries, including Turkey and Jordan, enjoy visa exemption facilities.