PUTRAJAYA: Foreigners here to study or work will be easily identified under a new high-security, colour-coded card system.
Called I-Kad, the sophisticated card has 17 security features and the colour represents the sector the holder is in.
The card is also embedded with a microchip that has a biometric thumbprint of the holder to determine the authenticity of identity.
Yesterday, the Immigration Department issued the I-Kad to a pioneer batch of 29 students from several higher learning institutions. Their colour code is green.
The colours for those in the construction, plantations, service and domestic maid categories have not been decided.
Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said the colour-coded identification card for foreign workers and students was mooted last year to help the authorities check on illegal immigrants, and prevent abuse and forgery during the permit renewal process.
We hope to be able to issue the card to all 66,000 foreign students here over the next three months.
The new card uses Malaysian technology and there will be no room for unscrupulous parties to duplicate, copy or forge it, he told reporters after he and Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed presented the I-Kad to students at LimKokWing University College.
Radzi said the card would initially be issued for free to the students but they would have to pay if they lose it.
He said it had not been decided if a charge would be imposed in future for the card, adding that the cost involved was high.
Radzi said it would take some time before all foreigners were issued with the card, as there were about two million of them here.
While we welcome them here, we still need to ensure the countrys safety and that all form of security elements are being carried out efficiently and effectively. The creation of I-Kad is truly important, both for the security of the international students and the country, he said.
Mustapa said the I-Kad was to provide the best education service to foreign students.
He also said that from Friday, foreign students could apply for their visas online when the Student E-Pass system becomes fully operational.
Under the E-Pass system, students can also check if the programmes they are interested in are accredited.