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Thursday April 6, 2006

Singapore ‘no’ to MyKad


PUTRAJAYA: Singapore has shot down Malaysia’s proposal to use MyKad as an entry document for frequent travellers, saying it may not have sufficient security features desired by the republic. 

Home Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said Singapore rejected the proposal because it feared that any flaws in the MyKad could have an impact on the island’s security. 

“To us, the use of MyKad is good enough, but we have to look for other options now,” he told reporters after a dialogue with visiting Brunei Home Affairs Minister Datuk Paduka Awang Adanan Mohd Yusof.  

“We hope Singapore can come up with a workable proposal as we need to look into the needs of Malaysian frequent travellers.” 

According to records, some 90,000 commuters enter Singapore daily. Students and workers have special passes for fast immigration clearance. 

Radzi said Malaysia had agreed to do away with the Restricted Passport because it did not contain security features and was not internationally recognised.  

He said come July 1, Singapore would no longer recognise the document. 

“If need be, I will visit the republic and meet with my counterpart to settle the issue,” he said. “We also hope Singapore can do something about this because it has benefited from having our people work on the island.”  

On discussions with his Brunei counterpart, Radzi said the oil-rich state was interested in learning how Malaysian authorities handled the intake of foreign workers. 

He said since the outsourcing programme was introduced, 59 companies had been given approval to bring in foreign workers, who were later sent to work in firms and factories. Eleven companies had brought in 1,070 workers so far, he said. 

He said the programme was picking up as many employers were just getting to know about it, and added that the introduction of the outsourcing programme had eliminated the existence of “fly-by-night and RM2 companies”. 

“Only companies with sound financial background will start this business,” he said. 

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