NEW YORK: Malaysia’s consulate-general in New York has become the first immigration office to install what is described in the consular jargon as a “facial live capture” facility.
The revolutionary passport issuance process will considerably shorten the time taken to issue passports and other related services.
“New York is a high-pressured place as far as the volume of consular work is concerned. Besides conforming to international standards of passport machine readability, we are taking the processing to the next level, by issuing these passports with the help of the latest technology and reducing the issuance time,” said Malaysia’s new consul-general in New York Abdul Razak Abdul Wahab.
He said the consulate-general, which is the centre for Malaysian passport processing in the United States, handles an average of 450 passports a month but the number increased by another 300 in July.
Despite the vast jurisdiction of 17 US states serviced by the consulate, it still provides same-day passport issuance and thanks to the technological upgrading, is set to be further improved.
Abdul Razak said there were 16,384 Malaysian nationals under the consulate’s jurisdiction but an almost equally large number of Malaysians have not formally registered themselves because of overstaying in the country or some other reasons, according to estimates. He urged these Malaysians to register themselves with the consulate so that it can assist them if needed.
“We are trying to reach out to them and explain that it is important they register themselves so that we can provide them assistance in the event of any unforeseen emergency. Also, if something happens to them, we can inform their families back home,” he said.
Abdul Razak said US-Malaysia relations were poised to grow further with both US President Barack Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak having struck “good personal chemistry”, as was evident during the President’s recent visit to Malaysia. — Bernama