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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Be prepared to wait longer for your passport

Immigration Department says introduction of new passports with more security features will need 'extensive testing' that will take at least six months.
Sakib-Kusmi_pasport_kaunter_6001PETALING JAYA: Be prepared for longer queues and waiting hours when you want to renew or apply for international passports now.
Immigration Department Director-General Sakib Kusmi said that the department is in the midst of introducing new passports which include more security features, The Malay Mail reported.
“Extensive testing to ensure the products are up to par will take at least six months,” he was quoted as saying.
The daily had recently highlighted the shortage of passports nationwide, as a large number of the microchips embedded in the data page, allegedly had defects.
This resulted in many applicants having to endure long lines at immigration offices nationwide, or worse, return empty-handed, as the number of passports issued were limited.
“The transition to this new version (of passports) cannot be done overnight. We need to ensure the new passports are near-perfect.
“The department and the vendor will ensure there is enough supply of passports in the meantime,” Sakib was quoted as saying, adding that there would be disruptions to immigration services during the period.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had reportedly instructed the department to increase its passport production to 20,000 daily, from the previous 5,000 to 10,000 daily, following reports about the shortage.

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