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Malaysia Opens Visa-free Travel for Indian Visitors and Chinese Citizens

In a significant move, Malaysia has joined Thailand and Sri Lanka to offer 30 days of visa-free travel to visitors from India, starting from December 1. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim also announced a similar provision for Chinese citizens.

Visa Exemption Conditions:

While celebrating the diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim emphasized that the visa exemption for Indian and Chinese citizens is contingent upon security clearance. Individuals with a criminal record or deemed a risk for violence will not be eligible for the visa-free travel.

Expansion of Visa-Free Privileges:

Malaysia has been progressively expanding its visa-free privileges. Currently, citizens from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Turkey, and Jordan already enjoy visa exemption in the country.

Upcoming Announcement:

Details regarding the visa exemption, including the application process and specific conditions, are expected to be announced soon by the Home Minister, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Acknowledgment of China’s Gesture:

On November 24, China reciprocated by announcing a 15-day visa-free policy for Malaysians from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed gratitude, noting the upcoming celebration of 50 years of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China.

ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme:

The announcement coincided with the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme 2023. During the event, High Commissioner to Malaysia BN Reddy highlighted the importance of India’s relationship with Malaysia, citing proximity, diaspora connections, and the shared commitment of both governments to enhance their strategic partnership.

Strengthening Diplomatic Ties:

India and Malaysia marked 65 years of diplomatic relations last year and are actively working to realize the enhanced strategic partnership established during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in 2015.

Trade Relations:

In 2022, India emerged as Malaysia’s 11th largest trading partner, with total trade reaching RM 86.22 billion (USD 19.63 billion). This represented a substantial increase of 23.6 percent compared to the previous year, underscoring the economic significance of the bilateral relationship.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q1: What significant announcement has Malaysia made regarding visa policies, and when does it come into effect?

A1: Malaysia has announced that, starting from December 1, visitors from India will be granted 30 days of visa-free travel, expanding its visa policies and joining Thailand and Sri Lanka in providing such access.

Q2: What recent event highlighted the significance of India’s relationship with Malaysia, and what aspects were emphasized during this event?

A2: The ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme 2023 underscored the importance of India’s relationship with Malaysia. High Commissioner BN Reddy emphasized factors such as proximity, diaspora connections, and the mutual desire to enhance their strategic partnership.

Q3: How long have India and Malaysia celebrated diplomatic relations, and what economic milestone was achieved in their trade relations in 2022?

A3: India and Malaysia celebrated 65 years of diplomatic relations in the previous year. In 2022, India became Malaysia’s 11th largest trading partner, with total trade reaching RM 86.22 billion (USD 19.63 billion), representing a substantial 23.6 percent increase compared to the previous year.

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