JOINING the growing calls against the MyTravelPass system, the Malaysia Association Tour Agency (MATA) urged the Government to bin the system to help rejuvenate local tourism.
“The scheme is very complicated and it takes the authorities 14 days before approving or otherwise,” its president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun told FocusM.
Yesterday, Damansara MP Tony Pua urged the Immigration Department to not “review” but do away with the MyTravelPass completely, adding the scheme had outlived its usefulness.
“Phasing out MyTravelPass is a critical part of Malaysia’s road to economic recovery as it will play a significant role in reviving our ailing travel industry – airlines, airports, travel agencies etc which employs hundreds of thousands of workers.
“It will also relieve our immigration officials from the tedious task of processing thousands of applications weekly and be redeployed to more productive and urgent tasks, particularly those related to the reopening of our economy in the coming weeks and months,” the DAP leader was reported saying.
The MyTravelPass scheme was implemented at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, where travel abroad was deemed highly risky, especially when local infections then was low and no vaccines were available.
However, circumstances have changed since then, as the risk of foreign-borne infections are today far lower than local infections rate.
Consider reopening borders
Echoing Pua’s sentiments, Khalid said that imported COVID-19 cases are now way lower than local cases, which presents a strong case against the continuation of MyTravelPass.
“With almost 80% of our people gotten fully vaccinated, I believe the scheme is no longer relevant given the present circumstances,” he noted.
Khalid added that Malaysians now want to get back to normal life, which is to travel for leisure and work-related matters at green zones, in addition to performing umrah.
On that note, Khalid urged the Government to consider reopening the borders to allow tourists from green zones to visit Malaysia again.
“This will help rejuvenate our economy, as foreign inflow of cash will stream from foreign tourists and help revive the battered tourism industry.
“In fact, many foreign countries have reopened their borders and rest assured that our tourism players will adhere strictly to the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he concluded.
By : G Vinod- FOCUS MALAYSIA