While parts of our Malaysian passport renewal process can now be done online, there have been numerous complaints from applicants that there are too many caveats involved such as getting your photo edited just right and getting their applications rejected. On top of that, queues at the passport office and at KLIA are still a pain in the neck.
To tackle these issues, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has announced on his Facebook page that certain steps will be taken to overcome congestion at the passport offices and at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
The minister had received numerous complaints personally and on social media on the matter and he said that these steps were decided during a special meeting on 25 January:
Improvements on the online system that sets appointment dates, times, and queue numbers.
The addition of passport printing machines at passport offices which are usually congested and see a large number of visitors.
The KLIA passport office will continue to operate as a Passport Issuing Office for urgent and emergency cases other than normal applications.
20 Passport Issuing Offices other than the Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) will operate 7 days a week beginning 27 January 2023.
On top of that, there has also been congestion at KLIA due to foreign visitors and Saifuddin said that this was due to the simultaneous arrival of around 20-26 planes simultaneously during peak hours with a time interval of between five and ten minutes.
Another cause was procedural checks to ensure that only genuine foreign visitors who fulfilled the conditions of the Social Visit Pass were allowed to enter.
Immediate action would be taken on this including:
Studies on prospects of expanding the use of auto gates for visitors from 10 low-risk countries would be carried out immediately.
Setting up two Quick Response Teams (QRT) that would begin operations on 1 February 2023 to help officers at the counters during peak periods
The minister also said, I appreciate the role of the officers of the Malaysian Immigration Department who are committed to this task, and I also welcome suggestions and views from the public to find a way out so that this issue will not persist.”
Visit the Malaysian Immigration Department’s website for more information or follow their Facebook page for updates.
Image credit: facebook.com/imigresen