PUTRAJAYA: The use of MyKad as a travel document will kick off from next month for Malaysians travelling to Brunei.
Its acceptance will also be widened to other Asean countries, particularly Indonesia and Thailand.
Registration Department director-general Datuk Wan Ibrahim Wan Ahmad said both Malaysia and Brunei had agreed on the use of MyKad in lieu of passports.
He said after Brunei, the use of the multi-purpose identity card as a travel documents would be extended to other Asean countries.
The Government, he said, was still discussing with Singapore about using MyKad to replace passports or restricted passports.
“Since the government-to-government discussions on this matter are still going on with several other Asean countries, there is no telling when it will become a reality.
“However, the use of MyKad for Malaysians travelling to Brunei has already been agreed to and will start next month,” he said after attending the Home Ministry’s Hari Raya open house yesterday.
Wan Ibrahim said the use of MyKad to replace passports would require some additional investments in terms of installing “readers” that would be compatible with the smart card.
He said this was not a major problem as the costs would be marginal.
Furthermore, he said, some of the countries would already have systems that were compatible with MyKad.
His department, he said, had already issued 7.5 million MyKad with the main bulk of six million using the 64kb microchip while the rest used the 32kb microchip.
However, he said, not all of the MyKad were uploaded with the passport details of the holders because some holders had yet to apply for passports when they applied for MyKad while others did not include their passport details.
To include passport details, he said, MyKad holders need to come back to the nearest registration department so that the information could be inserted into their smart card.
MyKad currently has seven applications – identification card, driving licence, international passport information, health information, e-cash and automated-teller machine services, Touch ‘n Go service and Public Key Infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Singapore Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng said the plan to use MyKad for Malaysians travelling to the republic was “a very good idea” as it could facilitate frequent travel and visits.
“It’s an interesting idea. We will get our officials to examine how we can get this done because at present, Malaysia and Singapore have different systems for entry,” he said on arrival at the KL International Airport here yesterday to attend the Home Ministry’s Hari Raya.
Wong was commenting on the proposal for MyKad to be used as a travel document for Malaysians travelling to Singapore.
He later met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also the Home Minister, at the latter’s office.
Wong said Singapore had already implemented a special system of entry for the island’s permanent residents and frequent travellers.
“We already have the immigration automatic control system, which is like a card issued to many foreigners, including Malaysians working in Singapore,” he said.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said an announcement on the implementation of the proposal was to be made soon.
“To have MyKad for entry into Singapore will be far more convenient and easier for the holders and they don’t have to waste passport pages,” he said.
The use of the restricted passport, said Chor, had been around for “too long a time.”
“It does not have many of the security features that our modern passport has and it’s not very safe,” he said.
Did you find this article insightful?