Malaysia has become the 100th country to grant visa-waiver privileges to Taiwanese citizens, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said yesterday.
“The addition of Malaysia means that we have realized our goal of securing visa-waiver privileges for Taiwanese from 100 countries by the end of this year, which also marks our government’s centennial,” Yang said at a press conference.
The 100 countries and areas represent 94 percent of the regions that are the most popular destinations for Taiwanese travelers, he said.
Effective immediately, people who hold a Republic of China (ROC) passport valid for at least six months and a return or onward airline ticket will be allowed to enter Malaysia visa-free for visits of up to 15 days.
“We believe that the measure will be conducive to [Taiwan--Malaysia] economic, trade, culture, education, technology, agriculture and tourism cooperation,” Yang said.
Last year, Taiwanese citizens made 210,000 non-business-related trips to Malaysia. Based on that number, Yang said, Taiwanese travelers would save an estimated NT$50 million (US$1.7 million) annually in visa fees for visits to the Southeast Asian country.
Taiwan has offered visa-free travel to Malaysian citizens since 2002, while Malaysia had offered landing visa privileges to Taiwanese citizens since 2009. However, the privilege was canceled in August last year after Malaysia stopped issuing landing visas across the board in a bid to stem the problem of an illegal inflow of people from China, India and Bangladesh.
Taiwanese authorities had asked Malaysia not to include Taiwan on the list of countries that have abused the program, saying that the vast majority of Taiwanese visitors to the country are relatively wealthy, rather than “migrant workers.”
The ministry said yesterdsay that it would continue negotiating with Kuala Lumpur to extend visa-free stays for ROC passport holders from 15 to 30 days.
Additional reporting by CNA
ATTACKED: The patrol cutter, accompanied by two other vessels, was clearing illegal fishing nets when the fishing boats rammed it. Repairs are expected to cost NT$1.2m Taiwan’s newest Coast Guard Administration (CGA) patrol vessel was damaged after being rammed by Chinese fishing boats near Kinmen County. It was the second confrontation this month in which shots were fired to repel Chinese fishing boats. Chen Chien-wen (陳建文), chief of the coast guard’s Offshore Flotilla No. 9 unit for Kinmen County, said that on Monday a dozen Chinese fishing boats entered Taiwan’s territorial waters near Little Kinmen (小金門), also known as Lieyu (烈嶼), close to the coast of China’s Fujian Province. “We are happy to report that no coast guard personnel were hurt in the incident, but the new CGA
Each local government must implement disease prevention policies based on its own considerations, so they cannot be identical, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday. Her remarks were in response to questions about why Taipei did not follow New Taipei City in closing all public sports centers, activity centers and museums for 14 days, starting on Friday. New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) made the sudden announcement to close those areas at the opening of a public sports center on Thursday to reduce gatherings of people in confined spaces and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as a person confirmed
ADEQUATE COVERAGE: New Taipei City, which has more than 9,500 people under home quarantine, said it would add another 450 rooms at its disease prevention hotels The Taipei City Government has added a fourth designated disease prevention hotel, allowing people under 14-day home quarantine to isolate themselves from NT$5,000 per day, it said yesterday. The Taipei Department of Information and Tourism launched the first disease prevention hotel on Feb. 21 to accommodate travelers without a place to stay during mandatory home isolation or quarantine, and for people who want to separate themselves from their family members or roommates during quarantine. The department said that as of yesterday, more than 120 travelers have stayed at one of the city’s three disease prevention hotels, and their 178 rooms are nearly
MISINFORMATION: The 100,000 masks given to ally Paraguay were bought in other Latin American nations, not made in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Taiwan has not yet reached a point where it can export masks to diplomatic allies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, dismissing as misinformation online reports that it gave away masks to curry favor with a diplomatic ally. “Taiwan provides med-ical aid to diplomatic allies based upon specific circumstances,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said, adding that the supplements donated by Taiwan were all purchased locally in allied countries, in accordance with their needs. “The time is not yet ripe” for Taiwan to export medical supplies, such as surgical masks, to diplomatic allies, until