Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Tuesday said it was open to the idea of extending "visa on arrival" facility to Indians but it could be done only if the tourists leave the country on the expiry of their visa and not stay on illegally.
Acknowledging that a large number of Indians visit Malaysia as tourists, Prime Minister Najib Razak said the facility of visa on arrival could be considered but the authorities were not able to take this step due to the large number of "overstayers" who continued to be in the country despite the expiry of the visa.
Few years ago, Malaysia had extended the visa on arrival facility to Indians but scrapped it after hundreds of Indian tourists stayed back and started working illegally at restaurants and other places without any work visa.
"We don't know what happened to the overstayers...," Najib told a group of visiting Indian journalists. He felt that if the problem of overstayers was not there, Malaysia was "open to the idea of extending visa on arrival." "Indians like Malaysia very much," he quipped referring to the overstayers. He admitted that there was a huge demand for Indian labour and also a constant demand for priests, barbers and cooks from India. "Our priests apparently are not good in Sanskrit and that is why priests from India are needed to conduct prayers," he added.