The Home Ministry and the Immigration Department have denied agreeing to any additional screening procedures for China nationals visiting Malaysia.
In fact, Home Ministry secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim said, security screenings are part of the standard operating procedure when processing visa applications.
"The ministry and the Immigration Department deny giving any agreement regarding additional security screening procedures for Malaysian visa application process for tourists from any country, including from the People's Republic of China," Alwi said in a statement today.
He said currently there were two ways for visitors to Malaysia to apply for a visa - they could either apply for a visa manually through the One-Stop Centres (OSC), or apply for one online (eVisa).
Citizens of China, the ministry added, could also apply for a visa through a third option, that is through an electronic travel registration and information (eNTRI) application.
The eNTRI is a special facility provided for China citizens throughout the visa exemption period, which lasts till Dec 31, 2018, Alwi said.
"Security screening by the Immigration Department is a standard operating procedure before approving any visa and it acts as an early mechanism to verify the applicant's background," the statement says.
Previously, national news agency Bernama reported that a Malaysian company was working with China to establish a safety assessment initiative for Chinese citizens coming to Malaysia.
The company's chief executive officer (CEO) had said that the initiative was under the directive of the Chinese government to act as a pre-screening and filtering system to gather data on Chinese nationals before they come to Malaysia.
The data would supposedly be shared on a one-way approach to the Malaysian government, the CEO had said.
It was also reported that centres to process these applications, called the Chinese Citizen Security Assessment Centre to Malaysia (CCSACM), were set up at five major cities in China.
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