Malaysia announce a “visa on arrival” for Indians visiting Malaysia for tourism purposes entering the nation from “six different points of entry” to “spur intra-regional travel and bolster tourism” in a “Hassle-free environment.”
Revealing this new policy, Deputy Director-General of Tourism Malaysia Razali Mohd Daud said that this program will also “go a long way in strengthening the relations and long-term commitment to Indian market.”
Malaysia has seen Indian conference travelers increase from 18,801 in 2004 to 23,302 in 2005 and expects 50,000 conference travelers a year by end of 2007. The Malaysia Ministry of Tourism estimates 350,000 Indians visitors to Malaysia by next year. Because of high landing costs and a severe shortage of hotel rooms, it is cheaper to conduct conferences in Singapore or Malaysia than within India . Similarly, it is cheaper to take a vacation in those nations than within in India .
Many complain that Malaysia is one of the most unfriendly places for Indians to visit and that country is trying a makeover of its image in a nation that has the largest and the fastest growing economy in the region. Indo-Malaysian relations are not doing well diplomatically either with Malaysia being suspected of playing spoilsport to the Free Trade Agreement with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Islamic Malaysia is accused of ill-treating its Tamil ethnic population in the North and recently destroyed a Hindu temple with devotees inside. The Indian Government has not protested or raised the issue with the Malaysian Government.