Mohd Haniff Abd Rahman, the Malaysian ambassador to Myanmar, said that Malaysia would retain visa requirements for citizens of Myanmar for some more time to come.
Abd Rahman was quoted by The Myanmar Times as saying in August that Myanmar citizens could be granted easier entry. That will not, however, happen in the near future owing to concerns related to illegal immigrants and security concerns of Malaysia.
He said the possibilities were being considered but the Malaysian government has to deal with a surfeit of migrant workers, particularly from Myanmar.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is said to have signed memoranda of understanding to have in place visa exemption with Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Malaysia is the only ASEAN country that still demands that Myanmar citizens pay for a visa application worth $57.
Beginning from August, Malaysia has been issuing 30-day, single-entry visas for some countries, which includes Myanmar too. Though ASEAN member states have been proposing visa-free travel within the region since 2006, it is yet to take off.
Daw Hla Darli Khin, president 7 Days, a travel company in Myanmar, said that e-visa would make it more convenient for travellers. He added that they do not, however, provide package services to Malaysia until people ask for it.
But commencing from December, citizens of Myanmar would be able to travel to Singapore on a free tourist visa for up to 30 days. People wanting to travel to Singapore for non-tourist reasons such as medical treatment or business would have to apply for a different visa, said U Okkar, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular and Legal Affairs Department deputy director general.