‘No short­age of pass­ports’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - News­desk@the­sundaily.com

PUTRAJAYA: The pub­lic need not worry about a short­age of pass­ports as ven­dors have as­sured the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment that they would be able to sup­ply some 90,000 pass­ports a week to all im­mi­gra­tion of­fices and branches na­tion­wide.

Its di­rec­tor-gen­eral, Datuk Seri Musta­far Ali, said the is­sue of pass­port short­age had been suc­cess­fully re­solved as there would be a steady sup­ply to meet de­mand.

Musta­far also said his depart­ment had re­ceived at least 900 pass­port re­newal ap­pli­ca­tions to date through its mon­thold “MyOn­line Pass­port” sys­tem.

“Al­though there were some glitches with the sys­tem when we first im­ple­mented it ear­lier this month, we are con­stantly work­ing to im­prove it.

“For the time be­ing, the sys­tem only al­lows re­newal of travel doc­u­ment. Those who wish to ap­ply for a new pass­port are still re­quired to ap­ply in per­son at im­mi­gra­tion of­fices,” he said at a press con­fer­ence af­ter re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal equip­ment and sup­ply of medicines from the In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the Health Min­istry at the depart­ment’s head­quar­ters here yes­ter­day.

Musta­far said the depart­ment will have a strate­gic al­liance with both ICRC and the min­istry where the three par­ties will fi­nalise a 2017-2020 blue­print by yearend.

“This will en­sure all im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers at var­i­ous de­ten­tion cen­tres are well-equipped with ba­sic emer­gency and med­i­cal skills. Even though the min­istry has sta­tioned a med­i­cal of­fi­cer at de­ten­tion cen­tres na­tion­wide, im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers have to be equipped with some ba­sic emer­gency med­i­cal skills,” he said.

Musta­far (cen­tre) with the med­i­cal equip­ment. Look­ing on are Health Min­istry's pub­lic health med­i­cal ex­pert Dr Nik Jas­min Nik Mahir (left) and Is­abelle Bar­ras from ICRC Malaysia.

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