Passport sub-contractor to assume main contractor role soon
PETALING JAYA: Datasonic Group Bhd will take on the role as the main contractor for Malaysian passports, supplying the booklets as well as the datapages with microchips to the Immigration Department from Dec 1, 2016.
Currently, the group is the sub-contractor for Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn Bhd (PKN).
PKN produces the passport booklets while Datasonic is the supplier of the chip-embedded polycarbonate datapages.
“We have delivered sufficient chips to PKN but the production into booklets took too long and created the passport shortage,” Datasonic chief technology and information officer Zulkhornain Ranee said.
He added that the quantity of chips required was decided by the Immigration Department and delivered by PKN.
Zulkhornain was responding to reports claiming there was a shortage of passports. On Monday, the government ordered the company appointed to supply passports to buck up or face action.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the company’s performance was being reviewed and warned that action would be taken if it failed to perform its contractual duties.
Meanwhile, Datasonic dismissed reports that the shortage of passports was due defective chips. Zulkhornain said the rejection rate faced by the company was a mere 0.24%.
On April 27, Datasonic was awarded a RM223.38mil contract to supply the booklets for five years or 13.416 million passports starting Dec 1, 2016.
Datasonic deputy managing director Chew Ben Ben said it delivered 899,252 units, or 225,000 polycarbonate data pages with chips, per month to the main contractor between April and July 2016.
These polycarbonate datapages are for the new passports which come with increased security features.
Over the past six months, Datasonic had secured RM802.53mil in contracts, mainly relating to the Immigration Department.
Chew said in a recent interview that the company is poised to secure another RM800mil worth of IT-related contracts from the Government in the next six months, a move which would significantly boost its order book.