PUTRAJAYA: The Government will provide passport readers to other countries to help them speedily verify the authenticity of the Malaysian passports.
This applies only to places where Malaysians do not need travel visas.
Home Affairs Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat said the reader was made available to immigration authorities in Japan and the system would soon be installed at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
We are looking at installing the passport reader in the airports of London, Paris and Frankfurt.
We believe that since these countries do not require Malaysians to apply for visas to travel, it would be helpful to have the reader as it could help verify the authenticity of the passport within seconds instead of having to go through a tedious procedure.
For countries where Malaysians need a visa to enter, background checks can be done during the visa application, he said after presenting the passport reader system to the Netherlands Ministry of Justice secretary-general Joris Demminks yesterday.
Aseh said the Government felt the need to assist authorities in Netherlands to verify Malaysias chip-imbedded passport as a large number of Malaysians use the countrys airport as a transit point.
We were informed of at least 30 incidents where attempts were made to use tampered Malaysian passports at the Schiphol Airport, hence the need for quick checks by installing the system there.
Our passport with the imbedded chip is impossible to forge but can still be tampered with. But with the reader, details of the holder will emerge on the screen, he said.
He said that Malaysian passports which used to fetch up to US$20,000 (RM67,000) each in the black market are no longer sought after for illegal use because of the chip.
Netherlands Ambassador to Malaysia A.J.A. Embrechts said the system would help authorities in his country verify the details of Malaysian passport holders.
Aseh, who will retire tomorrow, urged the Home Affairs Ministry staff to continue to enhance their service to the people although several departments under the ministry had been praised for improving their delivery system.
The improvement should be continuous to help eliminate all forms of weaknesses, he said at the farewell function following his retirement in Putrajaya yesterday.
He later handed over his duities to the deputy secretary-general (Policy) Datuk Raja Azahar Raja Abdul Manap who will be the acting secretary-general. Aseh had served in the public sector for 23 years.
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