Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Sarawak allows Chinese tourists to enter state using special entry pass

KUCHING: Sarawak has decided to allow tourists from China to enter the state through the Miri Airport and the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine, and Security (ICQS) facility in Sungai Tujuh bordering to Brunei, using the Special Entry Pass with immediate effect.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Haji Openg said as Sarawak is actively promoting incoming tourists from China, entry passes to the state should be issued at all ICQS for their convenience.

However, he said with Kuching currently being the only entry point to Sarawak equipped with the Visa-On-Arrival facility for tourists from China, the state government was seeking the federal government's cooperation to allow all ICQS in the state to issue entry passes to enter Sarawak, as such move would benefit both the federal and the state governments.

He pointed out that Section 5 of the Immigration Act 1959/63 (Act 155) provides the power to the Minister, by way of notification in the Official Gazette, to approve routes and declare such immigration control posts, airports or point of entry, which the Minister thinks necessary.

"In this regard, Sarawak Tourism Ministry had written to the Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, on this matter, but as of today, there has yet to be any reply," he told a press conference at his office here Tuesday.

"Sarawak is firmly of the view that the Director of Sarawak Immigration Department has the authority to issue the Entry Passes under Part VII of the Immigration Act 1959/63, under the direction of the State Authority which is the sole authority in regard to entry into or remaining in, or residing in the State of Sarawak," said Abang Johari, who is also Sarawak Tourism Minister.