Tuesday June 26, 2007
11 more kiosks for passport renewals soon
By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
IN the not so distant future, the public will be able to carry out their dealings on Immigration matters at the click of a few computer buttons without having to leave the comfort of their homes or offices.
Soon, all one has to do is just find a computer and passport, visa, work permit, student permit and expatriate applications can be done via the Internet.
In fact, so sophisticated will the Immigration Department be that the status of one’s application and payments can be made online without one having to make a beeline for the counters for such services.
Immigration director-general Datuk Wahid Md Don said this would all be possible once the Malaysian Immigration System, which acts as a single platform for all department information and data services, was in place by the end of the year.
“This will certainly make things easier for the public when dealing with us. When the system is in place all of our services can be accessed via the Internet and we are looking forward to this new era in the Immigration Department,” he said.
Wahid said the department was constantly looking for ways to enhance its services so that it would be on par with services provided by Immigration departments of advanced nations.
“We are also planning to introduce more kiosks for passport renewals at Immigration offices in other states as our pilot project has showed tremendous success.
“If all goes well, we also plan to have the kiosks open 24 hours, seven days a week,” he said.
He said the kiosks, located at the Immigration office in Pusat Bandar Damansara was popular among members of the public who were “on the go”, adding that between 300 and 400 applications were received daily through the kiosks.
The department plans to set up 11 more kiosks throughout the country and in the Klang Valley.
Wahid said that even his staff were not “spared from being upgraded” as many courses, including language classes, were being offered so that they could improve themselves and the services they provide.
“In fact, we even provide basic courses for the front liners, including on how to smile. It may sound trivial but it is important that Immigration personnel, being among the first Malaysians that foreigners see when they arrive here, know how to provide service with a smile,” he said.
A stickler for friendly and efficient service, Wahid said he did not see any reason why his staff could not provide “service with a smile”, even in the wee hours of the morning.
So serious is the director-general about it that those who fail to do so would be relegated to the “back of the office where they need not deal with the public”.
The department, which has a staff strength of 8,170 oversees a total of 128 entry points throughout the country, including the KL International Airport, the Causeway and Second Link in Johor as well as Port Klang.