Thursday, February 22, 2007

Malaysian Passports can be Renewed Online

Those who had expected an ‘easy day’ at the Immigration office at Pusat Bandar Damansara in Kuala Lumpur were in for a shock on Wednesday. Many people went there thinking that there would be no crowd due to the Chinese New Year break. Instead, they were greeted with an endless queue on the ground floor, where the self-service e-Passport replacement kiosks are located. Inside at the counter area, an estimated 1,000 people were waiting for services.
The Immigration Dept must have been forced to come up with this new Online Passport Renewal System after what happened yesterday (above)

KUALA LUMPUR: There is more good news for those renewing and applying for international passports – they can do so online and pick up their documents later.

By middle of this year, Malaysians can submit their application online with their Mykad details and go the next day to collect their passports.

Immigration Director-General Datuk Wahid Mohd Don said the online application would be possible once the department streamlines passport applications and renewals procedures without forms.

“We will go paperless, hopefully, by the middle of this year.

“Our IT officials are in the process of working closely with the National Registration Department (NRD) department where all the information provided will be checked with their database.”

The move was aimed at encouraging and introducing a “paperless” procedure for international passports said Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho after an official visit to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) on Thursday.

Tan said the Ministry was in the final stages of discussion with the National Registration Department (NRD) on implementing the procedure.

“It is our aim to completely erase the need to produce documents such as one’s birth certificate when applying or renewing passports, in addition to eliminating the need to be present.

"However, they would still have to personally collect their passports once it is ready,” he said in response to a recent report of a large number of applicants crowding the Pusat Bandar Damansara immigration office.

On Wednesday, an estimated 1,000 people were waiting for services at the immigration office here while many others were also held up at another section of the office where the self-service e-Passport replacement kiosks were located. The crowd barely eased up on Thursday. In this matter, Tan said the Ministry has planned to gradually install a replacement kiosk for each state within this year.

Earlier, Tan presented angpows and stationery to more than 80 children at HUKM's paediatric ward in conjunction with Chinese New Year celebrations.

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