Thursday February 14, 2013
Malaysian Immigration dept offers incentive to encourage public to go online
By ZUHRIN AZAM AHMAD firstname.lastname@example.org
PUTRAJAYA: The online passport renewal service has been in place since 2011 but to date, a very small percentage of Malaysians use it.
Last year, of the 2.3 million passports issued, of which about 60% were renewals, only 27,000 were applied via the online service.
Thus, the Immigration Department is considering offering discounts to those renewing their passports via its online service.
Immigration director-general Datuk Alias Ahmad said the discounts were an incentive to encourage the public to utilise the service.
“We are finalising it before submitting a proposal on the matter to the Government.
“Offering discounts on fees could attract and encourage the public to renew their passports via the online service,” he told The Star.
Alias said despite the availability of the online service since early 2011, the numbers of online applications for passport renewals had been very small.
“For us, this is not supposed to be the case when online services are the ‘in thing’ in Malaysia,” he said.
Alias added that the department found it a bit difficult to understand the poor response from the public towards the service.
“It saves them a lot of hassle as it can be done from home or anywhere.
“The process is as easy. The discounts could get more people to use it,” he said.
The present fee is RM100 for a two-year period passport and RM300 a five-year passport.
The online renewal facility is only for those aged 12 years and above.
It is only offered to those whose passports are expiring within a year.
Applications from those whose passport validity is more than 12 months will be automatically rejected by the system.